How do young people construct their identities in the complexity of their own country, belonging to the European Union, and being part of global society? This book is based on a unique empirical study of a thousand young people, aged between eleven and nineteen, from fifteen European countries. Covering East European states that joined the EU between 2004 and 2008, and the candidate states of Macedonia, Turkey, Iceland and Croatia, the complex interwoven narratives of young Europeans present an intricate and intriguing analysis of how identities are constructed.
Alistair Ross offers a significant original contribution to the literature on identities, providing a wealth of cross-national data and a wide range of significant theoretical possibilities across a group of related disciplinary areas. Fluid narratives of the self are shown to constitute a rich pattern that varies and modifies as it is seen through the different lenses of national culture, European institutions, and of outsiders.
Themes explored include:
the construction of identity
the ability to express multiple identities
agency and liminality
what being a European might mean
an emerging sense of contemporary nationalism and patriotism.
This book explains how young people frame their identities, drawing on discourses of culture and society and constructing them through interchanges with friends, family and the media. It will be of interest to academics and researchers in the fields of political sociology, education, European studies, and ethnicity and identity studies.
Alistair Ross is Emeritus Professor of Education at London Metropolitan University, UK, and Jean Monnet Professor of Citizenship Education in Europe.
Constructing Identities: The Younger Generation in the `New' Europe Part 1: Conceptualising Identities National and Ethnic Constructions in Europe. Talking with Young People about Identities. The Development of the `New' Europe. Identity Discourses and Young People Part 2: National Identities The Nation as a Cultural Entity. The Nation as a Political Vacuum. The Internal 'Other'. Leaving and Staying. Generational Differences and the Nation Part 3: European Identities European Identities: Institutional Values. Europeans and the Characteristics of European Culture. European Identities: The Borderlands. Generational Change and European Identities Part 4: Contingent Identities Country and Europe: Institutional and Political Othering. Country and Europe: Cultural Othering. Kaleidoscopic Identities.