Popular Perceptions of Europe and the Nation: The Case of Italy
Title: Popular Perceptions of Europe and the Nation: The Case of Italy
Author: TRIANDAFYLLIDOU, Anna
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Citation: Nations and Nationalism, 2008, 14, 2, 261-282
To date, European identity has not mobilised a feeling of belonging or solidarity that would be comparable to the ways in which national identities stir people's passions and make them ready 'to die for' their nations. However, much of the related political debate and scholarly analysis has paid little attention to citizens' understanding of European identity and the way this relates to national identity. This paper aims to contribute towards filling this gap. It explores qualitatively the relationship between national and European identity among Italian citizens with a view to answering the following research questions: How do Italian citizens define Europe? Who is a European? How does feeling European relate to feeling Italian? How do citizens perceive the European integration process? The article is based on 24 qualitative interviews with Italian citizens of varying age, gender, locality of residence and socio-economic status, conducted in spring and summer 2003. The methodology adopted follows the discourse analytical tradition.
Subject: eastern enlargement; European identity; Italy
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