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See detailThe Elusive European Identity: Reflections on the Structure of this Supra-national Identity – and the Lack of Salience
Murdock, Elke UL

in Studia Humanistyczno-Społeczne („Humanities and Social Studies”) (2016), 13

Research on European identity has consistently found low identification with this supra-national category. One of the reasons for the continued interest in the concept of supra-national identities is the ... [more ▼]

Research on European identity has consistently found low identification with this supra-national category. One of the reasons for the continued interest in the concept of supra-national identities is the question whether this collective medium of identification would provide a sense of integration with other social groups. Theories of self and identity construal are presented, which also highlight how we process information about ourselves and others. Past research has pointed to the role of experience levels with a supra-national entity such as Europe for identification with that entity to occur. Whereas persons with low experience levels of Europe have shown consistently low identification with Europe, in some instances, higher experience levels of Europe (i.e. through language competence, exchange programs, work experience) have also produced higher identification with Europe. Within the present series of studies we assessed levels of identification with Europe amongst a group of students who have high exposure to Europe. The objective was to assess, whether high exposure translates into high spontaneous identification with Europe. In Study 1) we looked at the salience of European identification in the spontaneous self-concept. In Study 2) students were asked to self-categorize in terms of nationality. European identification was neither elicited in the spontaneous self-concept nor used as a self-description in terms of nationality. These findings are discussed against a background of identity theories including, national identity and wider collective identities. European identity is likely to remain elusive and alternative research approaches are suggested within a globalizing world. [less ▲]

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