By Michael Bruter (auth.)
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Additional resources for Citizens of Europe?: The Emergence of a Mass European Identity
While the very concept of cultural identity implies that an individual perceives the group to have a certain shared heritage, and while it would be most interesting to know whether Europeans perceive this shared heritage to rely mostly on common values, ethnicity, religion, democratic principles, and others or why different individuals interpret this common baggage differently, it is, simply, not a task for this book except very marginally in the chapter dedicated to the analysis of focus group discussions of what Europe is perceived to ‘mean’ for citizens.
However, if its results are confirmed by the analysis of the Eurobarometer series, then their generalisation will immediately gain a much higher credibility. Finally, while the two quantitative techniques do not fully sort out the question of what Europe and identity actually mean to citizens, this is partly achieved by the qualitative section of my enquiry, that is, the focus group interviews of citizens from three countries of the European Union, which, again, would be very limited if its findings were not backed by the experimental and time-series components of the analysis.
As outlined earlier, in conceptual terms, this work depends on an understanding of political identities that considers them mutually compatible at the individual level, and also susceptible to evolve over time. Analytically, however, the claims of my model go further. Indeed, in this book, I assert that political identities, if they transform over time, do not just evolve randomly but can be at least partly influenced by the messages sent by institutions to citizens. In a way, the perception that institutions can influence political identities did not first originate from political science but from some of these institutions themselves.
Citizens of Europe?: The Emergence of a Mass European Identity by Michael Bruter (auth.)