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http://soc.sagepub.com/ European Identities: From Absent-Minded Citizens to Passionate Europeans
Sue Grundy and Lynn Jamieson Sociology 2007 41: 663 DOI: 10.1177/0038038507078919 The online version of this article can be found at: http://soc.sagepub.com/content/41/4/663
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sagepub. the development of European political institutions is associated with and legitimated by the spread of European identity (Bruter. 2004). Herrmann and Brewer. nationality and citizenship. while for many being European remains emotionally insignificant and devoid of imagined community or steps towards global citizenship.com at National School of Political on January 21. The precise nature of 663 Downloaded from soc. rationales for self-engagement with or disengagement from Europe are further interrogated and located in orientations to place of residence. 2005. Scotland and Edinburgh. a theoretically informed focus on people in one city. on the everyday significance of being European. Britain. 2013 . Survey data provide an overview of their different understandings of Europe and patterns of identification with Europe. London. KEY WORDS British / citizenship / Europe / European / global / identity / Scottish Introduction F or a number of academic commentators. A representative sample of established residents aged 18–24 years are compared with a sample of resident peers engaged in Europe-oriented work or study.These data provide some further insight into the process by which some come to present themselves as passionate utopian Europeans. New Delhi and Singapore European Identities: From Absent-Minded Citizens to Passionate Europeans ■ Sue Grundy University of Edinburgh ■ Lynn Jamieson University of Edinburgh ABSTRACT Conflicting prognoses for European identity are addressed using data from residents of Edinburgh.1177/0038038507078919 SAGE Publications Los Angeles.Sociology Copyright © 2007 BSA Publications Ltd® Volume 41(4): 663–680 DOI: 10. Scotland. Using qualitative interviews.
If European identity claims are even more sporadic and less fundamental to sense of self. Savage and his colleagues (2005) also use the term ‘empty’. 2013 . ‘cultural’ anti-national and ‘civic’ trans-national elements (Bruter. On the other hand. they seem unlikely to be the basis of desiring or striving for ‘a hospitable user-friendly planet’. and social scientists seem divided over its significance in everyday lives and its likely consequence for social cohesion. Bauman claims that European identity involves a utopian vision of Europe: as ‘a hospitable user-friendly planet determined to attain and secure a sustainable life for all its residents’ (2004: 36). devoid of any widely shared social meaning. national identity is a transitory ‘identity claim’ made in only some social contexts. Some emphasize European identity as a stepping stone in progress from divisive nationalism to an inclusive global citizenship. Rather. ‘Constitutional patriotism’ (Habermas. These respondents did not present themselves as Europeans but if European identity were to be based on an equivalent ‘elective belonging’ to an ‘empty’ Europe. Their likelihood of a strong sense of Downloaded from soc. One sample has some vested interest in Europe. 1998. His depiction conflates European and global. Europe.. Werbner and Yuval-Davis (1999) and Benhabib (2004) identify convergence in discourse around European citizenship and human rights. deployed for particular audiences and occasions (Kiely et al. these respondents located themselves through their ‘elective belonging’ to their places of residence. yearn for a global community in which all are citizens of the world. nation. including their national identity. then this also would neither require nor typically involve either civic engagement or imagined community. Breakwell (2004) talks about the continued ‘emptiness’ of Europe. ahead of rather than led by the institutions of Europe. 1998) – impassioned attachment to frameworks protecting human rights and democratic citizenships – has been suggested as a possible prognosis for European identity (Delanty.. 2000). For some. consequently of little consequence for social integration. 1998). Savage et al. Others see ‘Europe’ as remaining an empty category meaning different things to different people and nothing much to many. which offer the option of remaining socially and emotionally distant from other inhabitants. This article revisits European identity and its social cohesiveness using data on the significance of being European for two contrasting samples of young adults. no civic or cultural ties to locality. however. McCrone et al. or the globe had much significance in how they framed their lives (2005: 208). McCrone. Other commentators support elements of this view. and suggest that for the English middle class that they studied.664 Sociology Volume 41 ■ Number 4 ■ August 2007 European identity is not a settled matter.sagepub.com at National School of Political on January 21. how people choose to give meaning to Europe is very much contingent on other aspects of their identity. some researchers refocus attention on the possibilities of European identities that have little resonance with inclusive civic engagement or imagining a broad community. an account which privileged a personalized narrative of choice over personal. 2004). as if its proponents. speak of respondents electively belonging to ‘empty places’. civic or cultural ties to others. The samples are of the same age and live in the same place. 2005.
2004). 2005. Risse. Living in Scotland heightens awareness of Britain as a multinational state and of the separation of nation and state. 2001. ‘crosscutting’ or folded into each other like ‘marble cake’ (Risse. 2013 . complementary to. nation and city between the two samples. Edinburgh. Paterson. they credited the EU with aiding the autonomy of Scots and promoting social democracy and social justice. The material. The situation is particularly complex in multinational states (Grad. The Scottish context may also enhance the likelihood of a communitarian version of citizenship (Condor et al. 2006. If local. The other is representative of all young adults who are established residents. 1999).1 The data are from surveys of representative (RS) and target samples (TS) of young residents of Edinburgh and in-depth follow-up interviews with a sub-set of the respondents. Rosie and Bond. National identities are sometimes seen as in a similar relationship to local identities. Scottish intellectuals believe Scots are less Euro-sceptic than the English.sagepub. 2003. 2003). 2004.. 2002. Do young adult residents of Edinburgh see their lives as framed by Edinburgh-inScotland. the capital of Scotland. Paterson et al. 2002. 2004. People in Scotland are skilled at accepting UK citizenship without claiming a shared identity with people from England (Abell et al..com at National School of Political on January 21. 2004). is a particular starting point for imagining Europe. McCrone. Follow-up interviews allow for cross-checking and a deeper exploration of the meaning and significance of Europe. ‘Athens of the North’. Kiely et al. 2006). 2006). Citrin and Sides.. Britain and Europe? Who is pro-European and what does Europe mean to those who claim to be or deny being European? To what extent and for whom is Europe ‘empty’? Are there those who see Europe as an expansive imagined community and tend to conflate European and global citizenship? Or is European identity primarily claimed as one of a repertoire of ways of saying ‘we are better than’ or just ‘different from’ our English peers? The Data This article examines young adults’ (aged 18–24) understanding of European identity.. Survey data enable us to describe and compare the pattern of attachments to Europe. then local identity may also be consequential for European identity. Saeed et al.. bringing additional insights that help Downloaded from soc. 2004). Research consistently finds that the majority of residents of Scotland see themselves as more Scottish than British (Bond. national and European identities are seen as ‘nested’ like Russian dolls. Many academic commentators see European identities as built on. social and cultural resources individuals experience locally will impact on their sense of national or European context.European identities Grundy & Jamieson 665 European identity has potentially been enhanced by work or study oriented to Europe. their imaging of community and their orientation to citizenship. values they believe enjoyed more support in Scotland than England (Ichijo. There are good theoretical reasons for addressing European identity comparatively from one residential place. or interacting with national identities (Castano.
Difficulties obtaining interviewees meant that.666 Sociology Volume 41 ■ Number 4 ■ August 2007 develop our interpretation of data. All those who take part in the survey must: • • • Be aged between 18 and 24 have been resident in Edinburgh for the last 5 years have lived at least half their life in the UK. 2013 .2 The target samples were Edinburgh residents of the same age recruited through courses in European languages. Interviews lasted between 40 minutes and just under three hours. The plan for the interviews was to maximize comparison and select equal numbers of people who had responded either feeling very strongly European (point 4 on the scale of possible answers to this question) or who had no feeling (an answer of 0) from both samples. we are asking you to find respondents with certain characteristics in terms of age. The procedures used to generate the representative sample of 18–24-yearolds – all of whom were established residents of Edinburgh – involved scrutiny of the most recent census to examine the distribution of 18–24-year-olds in Edinburgh postcode areas. This contrasts with 19 per cent with low and 52 per cent with strong feelings among the target sample. on occasion.com at National School of Political on January 21. This allowed us to estimate geographical distribution within the age group. Downloaded from soc. sex and working status within the target group. However. In addition. those interviewed had strong feelings (an answer of 3) or a low level (an answer of 1) of feeling of being European. The exact quotas we are looking for within each sampling point are shown on your sample sheets. so you are free to visit any of the addresses shown in your sample packs. We interviewed an equal number of men and women. 13 drawn from the representative sample and 13 from the target sample. who were taken through a structured questionnaire by the interviewer. All of the quotations are from the in-depth follow-up interviews. Twenty-six young people took part in follow-up interviews. Batches of addresses were given to a field force of interviewers with this instruction: This is a quota survey. we are looking for a very specific group of respondents.4 Interviewees were chosen on the basis of their responses to a scaled item in the questionnaire that asked about the strength of how they felt about being European. expressed no or low strength of feeling about being European and only 23 per cent expressed a strong or very strong sense of being European. but generally took about one hour.5 Almost half of the representative sample.3 The resulting 67 young men and women completed the same structured questionnaire. Postcode areas were then selected to maximize the chances of finding appropriate 18–24-year-olds and sets of random addresses were generated. 48 per cent. European law or European studies and exceptionally through a European-oriented workplace. All names are pseudonyms. distribution by year of age and work status and numbers of students who are transitory residents. The visits to random samples of addresses resulted in 308 participants in the representative sample. The tables that follow present data from the survey.sagepub.
creating an index from 0 to 4. Although all had friends in Edinburgh and many also had family. While higher levels of Scottish than British identity are shown in Table 1. Edinburgh residents themselves did not make this connection. Many respondents compared Edinburgh favourably with other cities but rarely elsewhere in Europe. not all were ‘electively belonging’. Being a UK citizen was almost never presented as an important aspect of self-definition or linked to being European. While this largely meant pubs.sagepub. 2013 . Some 43 per cent of the target sample claimed both strong attachment to Britain and strong feelings of Britishness (B3) compared with 23 per cent of the representative sample. While the majority wanted to stay in Edinburgh. for some it also meant a ‘cosmopolitan’ place. Respondents from both samples mentioned being ambassadors for Scotland or Britain abroad and/or helpfulness to visitors at Downloaded from soc. clubs and ‘things to do’. The representative sample and the target sample alike were generally enthusiastic about Edinburgh. Identification with Edinburgh Notwithstanding the hypothesis that local. Follow-up interviews indicated that commitment to Edinburgh was not based on civic engagement or imagined community. (2005). In the surveys. the table also shows consistently higher levels of British identity in the target sample. Citizenship was only spontaneously linked to relationships with other Europeans through the notion of being an ambassador for your country. The valued specificity of Edinburgh was not presented as a European capital or as the capital of Scotland. some were in transitional stages of their careers and hoped or planned to move on.European identities Grundy & Jamieson 667 When interviewees are quoted. respondents could be described as living in ‘empty’ places as defined by Savage et al. we show their index of European Identity (EI) using a composite measure which counts the number of times a respondent indicates a strong European identity (a response of 3 or 4) across four questions (A to D on Table 2). Rather. The follow-up interviews illustrate respondents’ uses of nationality and citizenship. some of the representative sample with strong feelings of being European had a low index of European Identity because they did not respond similarly on any of the other measures. When our interviewees were described by this index. 78 per cent of each sample expressed strong attachment to Edinburgh. national and European identity are interlinked. attachment was not typically explained by reference to people but by the benefits of a city lifestyle. Scottish and British identity Many surveys have established that people in Scotland are more likely to identify themselves with Scotland and as Scottish than with Britain and as British (although if given an option of a dual nationality of Scottish and British this is a popular choice).com at National School of Political on January 21.
others were careful to stress this as a pragmatic manoeuvre in the interests of better rapport with other Europeans. for example. town or village. Lucy (TS EI4) for example. RS EI0). The general view was: ‘Just try and be polite and make a good name for your own country’ (Angus. and using the scale on this card (0 = not at all attached – 4 = completely attached). Some respondents claimed that the better reception of Scots was deserved and founded on stronger virtues when abroad than Downloaded from soc. While some clearly relished distinguishing themselves from the English. 4 = very strong feeling) how do you feel about being … Scottish. A]? Now I would like to ask you about the strength of how you feel about being different sorts of nationality? On a scale of 0–4 (0 = no feeling at all. On the other hand. please tell me how attached you feel to … Scotland [Table 1. emphasized being Scottish when meeting other European nationals around the time of the invasion of Iraq. to their region. Many respondents stressed the specificity of being Scottish. The taken for granted need for these efforts can be read as testimony to the self-defining significance of a Scottish identity. referring to media portrayals of young people in Ibiza or ‘hooliganism’. context-specific and pragmatic reasons were also given for deploying a Scottish identity in interaction with other Europeans. S2]/ British [Table 1 B2] / European [Table 2 B]?’ home as a form of good citizenship. Many believed that Scots get a better reception than English people abroad. some denied any specific responsibility and small numbers of respondents from both samples referred to willingness to work and pay taxes and/or to voting in British and Scottish elections.668 Sociology Table 1 Volume 41 ■ Number 4 ■ August 2007 Measures of Scottish and British identity Representative sample Target sample 76% 79% 72% 55% 57% 43% 27% S1 Strong or complete attachment to Scotland S2 Strong or very strong feelings of being Scottish S3 Both S1 and S2 B1 Strong or complete attachment to Britain B2 Strong or very strong feelings of being British B3 Both B1 and B2 S3 and B3 87% 85% 66% 46% 43% 23% 18% Note: Question wording: People may feel different degrees of attachment to their city. Many recalled situations in which they corrected the assumption that they were English or that Scotland is in England or that England is the name of Britain. 2013 . This was sometimes done by providing examples of how not to behave. particularly in Europe. Respondents from both the representative and target samples reported trying to educate others to acknowledge that Britain is a multinational state. few had much to say about citizenship. B1] /Europe [Table 2. [Table 1.6 Beyond this.Thinking about your own attachments. and saw this as a reason to flag up their Scottishness. S1]/Britain [Table 1.sagepub. to their country or to Europe. Some hinted at using Scottishness to create distance from the British state.com at National School of Political on January 21.
more respondents feel strongly about being European or attachment to Europe than about European citizenship. C Using the scale on this card (0–4). how would you rate the importance of the following in terms of who you are. While 40 per cent of the target sample said they ‘always’ or ‘often’ think of themselves as a European citizen and 33 per cent said ‘sometimes’. More surprisingly. the equivalent figures for the representative sample were 4 per cent and 13 per cent. Others thought that Scottish people were benefiting from mythical elements in the outsider’s view of Scotland. the overwhelming majority of the representative sample had little or no sense of European identity. However. The contrast is supported by willingness to vote in European elections. claimed that Scots had ‘a wee bit more self respect’. In both samples. European (Non)Identities As Table 2 illustrates. when items measuring European identity are added together.European identities Table 2 Percentage of Edinburgh respondents with ‘European Identities’ Representative sample A Strongly attached to Europe B Strong feeling of being European C Being a citizen of European Union important to self D Always or often think of self as European citizen Two or more of A.sagepub. that is. always – you think of yourself as the following: a European citizen? the English. Only 7 per cent of the representative sample indicated a strong European identity on three or more of the four items and 16 per cent on two or more items. during more detailed discussion in interviews. B. often. C and D Three or more of A. However. For example. sometimes. C and D All of A+B+C+D 32% 23% 15% 4% 16% 7% 2% Grundy & Jamieson 669 Target sample 57% 52% 42% 40% 54% 42% 28% Note: Question wording: A and B see below Table 1. Mhairi (RS E0). Only 35 per cent of the representative sample said they would vote compared to 92 per cent of the target sample. how you feel or think about yourself as a person? Being a citizen of the European Union D Can you tell me how frequently – never. significant proportions of the target samples were also weak on European identity: 46 per cent scored 0 or 1. even the target sample had little to say about European citizenship Downloaded from soc. 2013 .com at National School of Political on January 21. rarely. while 84 per cent scored 0 or 1. B. Table 2 suggests that orientations to European citizenship differentiate the representative and the target sample even more strongly than the other measures of European identity. referring to Ibiza.
for example. nevertheless talked of a ‘European culture’ that includes Britain and is distinctive from that of the USA. 2013 . David (RS EI0) talked about Europeans as much more tolerant and less bigoted. Two further participants from the representative sample scored 2. mildly positive or agnostic about the European Union. Only a couple actively distanced themselves from the EU and the project of European integration. nevertheless. Cameron (TS EI0) had experienced being categorized as ‘you Europeans’ by friends from the USA as a minor qualification to never thinking about himself in this way. For example. Most respondents without a strong European identity (EI0–2) were. as Table 3 shows. Will’s views (RS EI2) were framed by his employment in the financial sector.’ A number of respondents who emphasized that they did not think of themselves as European. said: Downloaded from soc. In contrast. Only two cited an occasion of context-specific awareness of ‘being European’. Fifteen of the respondents who took part in follow-up interviews scored 0 or 1 on European identity: 10 from the representative sample (including three people originally selected as having high European identity on the basis of one question). Table 3 illustrates that the majority of the representative sample had very little sense of what Europe meant to them. he was only European when imagining global economies: ‘I would regard myself as European if you compare the European economy to that of the US economy rather than the British or Scottish performance. the European Union was a defining characteristic of what Europe meant for the large majority (74%) of the target sample and only 29 per cent of the representative sample. a product of a wider cultural habit of bracketing ‘ourselves’ off from Europe.com at National School of Political on January 21. and five from the target sample. Most presented the absence of any personally invested sense of ‘being European’ as absent minded. A few of these respondents conceded that they were European as a fact of geography or by virtue of EU membership but continued to deny any sense of self-investment in ‘being European’. Nevertheless. Sally. the majority of the target sample indicated that the political alliance of the European Union and geography were both important for their understanding of Europe.sagepub.670 Sociology Volume 41 ■ Number 4 ■ August 2007 Table 3 Percentage choosing item as ‘very important’ or ‘important’ for ‘what Europe means to you’ Representative sample Membership of the EU The Euro currency Geographical Location Certain values and traditions None of these Two or more of these 29% 24% 26% 39% 45% 36% Target sample 74% 57% 64% 45% 3% 78% Note: Question Wording: How important are the following in what Europe means to you? beyond the right to work and travel in member states.
often with feeling. I think I’m Scottish so I would never call myself as European. can’t understand that it is actually part of Europe. European identity as an extension of British identity and extended her Scottish nationalist practice of denying being British to denying being European: I believe that the government want you to think of yourself as European. The survey data indicate that more than half of the representative sample lacked any significant exposure to Europe beyond Britain. And I don’t even think of myself as British really. RS EI0) When asked to explain this further she added: ‘I think it’s the language barrier’ and ‘you’re just brought up that way’. Two thirds (62%) of the representative sample did not speak another European language compared to 10 per cent of the target group. For most of the representative sample. ever.com at National School of Political on January 21. They could cite situations in which they felt particularly conscious of being European. Not that I don’t. had well-developed views about a range of European issues and spoke. RS EI0) Karl (RS EI1) also rejected the label European on political grounds. Downloaded from soc. Passionate rather than ‘Empty’ Europeans One participant in follow-up interviews from the representative sample and seven from the target sample had the maximum score of four on the European Identity scale and one member of the target sample had a score of three. (Sally. from the minority proportion of the target group who lacked a European identity. 2013 . At the same time.European identities Grundy & Jamieson 671 I’m not trying to make a ‘you. He saw the European Union as ‘purely a monetary thing’ rather than being a stepping stone towards world community or citizens of the world. them and us’ mentality but I don’t really see us as part [of Europe]. This period did not create lasting friendships and in choosing destinations for independent travelling as an adult. I find it weird to say ‘I’m from Europe’. I’m from Britain. that study of European languages or European issues was not a sufficient condition to ensure European identity. she spent a period in the Netherlands on an exchange when at school and expressed admiration of various aspects of Dutch society. neither everyday lives nor high days and holidays created occasions that encouraged thinking or feeling in terms of being European. His brand of socialism rejects national labels in favour of an internationalism seeking to unite ‘brothers and sisters across the world’. I’d say. I don’t really see it as a part of Europe. she had focused on English-speaking countries. Mhairi was one of two interviewed respondents who rejected being European as an active political choice. It’s. about their various visions of the future of Europe. All of these respondents demonstrated that they were passionately European. She saw Europe as a pet government project. In contrast 88 per cent of the target sample had visited two or more European countries. Some 32 per cent had not visited another European country since they were aged 16 and another 21 per cent had visited only one country. it is clear. Sally’s biography involved some exposure to other parts of Europe. (Mhairi.sagepub.
They talked of school-age friendships with people elsewhere in Europe. a few respondents attributed their European identity to later periods in their biography.sagepub. It just opens your horizons. involving a combination of foreign language use. the only followup interviewee from the representative sample with a European identity score of 4: ‘I’ve an advantage over a lot of people in my European views because I’ve been abroad and I love speaking. 2004).com at National School of Political on January 21. this wasn’t something you were just learning at school so you could pass your exam.’ All took it for granted that there was a raison d’être for formal civic and political cooperation and informal social engagement across Europe. His school had a Europe week. Lisa explained: Downloaded from soc. you know.. 2004) indicated by Bauman (2004: 36). Or wasn’t that fussed until I had my. For example. Many presented biographies that were particularly rich in opportunities to become European. TS EI4) In contrast. Most located the origins of their European identity in formative childhood experiences. Bryan (TS EI4) grew up in a small town before moving to Edinburgh and the activities orchestrated by his town council. Not all European identities were as overdetermined by access to relevant social and cultural capital. school and parents all helped ensure childhood experiences predisposing him to become a ‘Scottish European’. including the course of European-oriented study that was the basis of their recruitment to the target sample and interaction with other Europeans when travelling as young adults. facilitated by foreign language skills (Fuss et al. His parents had professional interests in geography and languages. I love communicating and being able to speak foreign languages. This was something you could actually use forever. Her route to working in a European-oriented organization began with a much more contingent interest in language learning: I didn’t really like languages. (RS EI4). And my mum and dad let me go and visit her for three weeks … that put it all into context and you could see you could use this. youth organizations or family-initiated relationships. Lucy’s professional parents were not oriented to Europe and all her family holidays were taken in Scotland. An MEP lived locally and was known to him socially. (Lucy. Harmony and difference. I had a pen pal whenever I was thirteen. and that this involved something more than economic benefits. which he describes as ‘trying to help us see a wider picture’ and a developed exchange programme through which he made long-term friends in France. 2013 . similarity and diversity were often stressed as aspects of their vision of Europe. The ‘more’ did not necessarily include a fully developed ‘constitutional patriotism’ or human rights discourse but something of the blend of civic and cultural elements (Bruter. His home town was actively twinned with elsewhere in Europe. just as appreciating both national differences and similarities were aspects of being Europeans.672 Sociology Volume 41 ■ Number 4 ■ August 2007 These respondents generally understood that they were unusual. were actively involved in the school and town twinning and liked to travel in continental Europe. For example. This included Jimmy. like geography or maths or whatever. travel and school.
the attitude to human rights. the essence of being European is identification with others within a specific territory encompassing neighbours with a similar standard of living: I think that being European is really identifying with the other. quoted above describing her route into being European through a visit to a pen pal. that. and some stereotyped the former as less civilized than the latter. Lucy and Tony described themselves as in principle in favour of people having civic and political engagement in their local area but each gave reasons for not being so engaged at the moment. … I see the differences between us but I can also see the similarities between us which is quite nice.European identities Grundy & Jamieson 673 When I go and stay with my French friends. Most took for granted a breach between Asia and Europe. Human rights were raised spontaneously in a number of respondents’ accounts but respondents’ constellations of views were sometimes more ambivalent and ambiguous than a human rights discourse tending to see the world as a community. And I think. Lucy (TS EI4). (TS EI4) Some respondents specifically indicated that they wanted Britain to become ‘more European’ but always stressing that they did not mean they wanted Europe to become homogeneous. Extracts from the views of three of these highly educated and articulate respondents. But I think it has a lot to do with – with having common ideas about how to take things forward within the area. by virtue of living in the same kind of area of the planet and having the same kind of standard of living. few did more than to acknowledge freedom to travel and work in Europe. For her. that we have a lot in common. you know. Downloaded from soc. It was more common for human rights to be introduced to mark a boundary between Europe and the rest of the world than to suggest a desired shift from European to global citizenship. James and Tony. ‘Well it’s because we’re both Europeans’. had moved to Edinburgh to work for a Europeanoriented organization.sagepub. And again like our shared ideas and aspirations and an awareness. The legal and institutional frameworks were not obviously inspiring ‘constitutional patriotism’. None had a strong local identity. even passionate Europeans had little to say spontaneously about citizenship. Her emphasis was resistant to the indefinite expansion of Europe: I think it would be a wee bit strange if the whole of Russia came into – into Europe and suddenly we are on the border with China. Scottish and British identity to ‘being European’ and their future visions of Europe. Lucy sees herself as more Scottish than British. Those acknowledging boundaries were not typically seeking their dissolution. Although all were positive about the European Union. illustrate how passionate Europeans bring different constellations of local. and Tony as British rather than Scottish. Lucy. And I think that does have to do with human rights. When invited to talk about European citizenship.com at National School of Political on January 21. James as British and Scottish. you know. we. with people from the other countries and identifying with other countries. However. they are all passionately European despite different degrees of ease with Scottish and British identities. 2013 .
the people he has met through his youth organization and his political passion for ‘social justice agendas’. It is there in the African countries. He described his own national identity as British rather than Scottish. He described the Netherlands as the most quintessentially European country. referring to how a visit to Kenya had highlighted to her the detrimental effects on Africa of the trade benefits for Britain of the internal European market. well British policy would then be governed by Europe rather than you know alliances with America. James (TS EI3) was settling into an Edinburgh-based career as a lawyer. to ‘former colonies’. Downloaded from soc. His understanding of the ideals of the European Union seemed to match his ideals for Europe: ‘It’s about human rights and dignity.’ He described feeling particularly European when travelling across Europe or meeting other European nationals. He was planning to leave Edinburgh to pursue a postgraduate course and then to spend a period working for a human-rights-based NGO before a job ‘in politics’. although most of his education was in or near Edinburgh.com at National School of Political on January 21. echoing the views of various Scottish intellectuals (Ichijo. He attributed his passion for Europe to travel.sagepub. Like a number of other respondents. At the same time. You know everybody would get on and maybe do a better job of things rather than serving their own political short term ends. Because of the global nature of his father’s employment. his earlier childhood involved living in both former UK colonies and European countries. Tony (TS EI4) had attended a fee-paying school in Edinburgh and became very involved in a European youth organization at age 17. Like James. making reference to human rights issues and the ‘geographical element’. 2013 . 2004). He used the term ‘communitarianism’ to encapsulate this. What I would say. she critically identified exclusionary aspects of the European Union. he saw the political culture of Scotland fitting better with Europe than Anglo-American politics: ‘Scotland seems to be quite interested in welfare and you know health and educationist policies in government. He describes himself as European and British rather than Scottish. as a ‘true multi-party democracy’.674 Sociology Volume 41 ■ Number 4 ■ August 2007 She was unsure about Turkey’s inclusion in the European Union or Europe. albeit noting that he also had strong ties. He went on to acknowledge that neither the European Union nor Europe had a monopoly of this positive spirit: It is there in Switzerland. It is there beyond. social justice and human rights than the USA.’ James’s vision of Europe did not include Turkey because he believed the Turkish government was not serious about human rights. … Sort of a shared morality amongst Europeans. Less on crime and that sort of thing. combining industry with strong green policies and ‘open and inclusive’. that it’s not been fostered and nurtured and cherished in – in those countries in the way that it has been within the EU. perhaps stronger ties. commenting ‘Europe is so much more about looking after not just your own interests but the interests of your neighbours’. describing the European Union as ‘a massively powerful enabling force for that – that sense of communitarianism’. he believed that Europe was more concerned with welfare. which included: Britain will stop being. The French would stop being belligerent. He talked at some length about his vision of the future of Europe.
Tony. In 1945. was advocating just such an indefinite expansion of Europe towards global citizenship. all three declared similar desired values albeit with different claims about their relationship to Europe and European institutions. Each of the respondents combines what Bruter (2004) would call ‘cultural’ and ‘civic’ elements in their European identity. Her description of the unifying cause of Europe stressed common challenges grounded in a geographical and ideological proximity that she would not stretch beyond the conventional boundaries of Europe. but he claimed the desired morality was coterminous with the conventional geography of Europe. similarities in values emerged from grappling with local European problems. James did not emphasize Scotland over Britain in his identity. linked this to shared values in being European and British. Why can’t the EU’s next mission be to help bring – bring the Western and Islamic worlds together? And where better to try and begin that process [than] with Turkey’? These three respondents illustrate the range and complexity of passionate Europeans’ views. Downloaded from soc. underpinned by a community or civil society. Nevertheless. James did not provide analysis of why values were coterminous with Europe. on the other hand. All tended to mix or conflate ‘cultural’ and ‘civic’ elements at some point in their talk about identity. He also offered a detailed critique of the (since failed) European constitution as too constraining and government led. there are differences in their understandings of Europe and its future. Tony. Indeed. despite his emphasis on civic identity. the basis of which was unspecified. national and European identities that are nested like Russian dolls. values were nurtured by informal civil action and formal institutions. 2013 . The stress he placed on morality in defining Europe made the indefinite expansion of Europe theoretically possible.com at National School of Political on January 21. engagement with a democratic multinational state.European identities Grundy & Jamieson 675 Unlike other respondents he talked at length about the specific mechanisms of the EU and the specific benefits of European citizenship. Much simplification is required to describe any of them as having local. For Lucy. For example. Tony rejected a Scottish identity because he did not accept the possibility of such an identity untainted by exclusionary nationalism. Lucy emphasized the cultural and civic uniqueness and specificity of Scotland as a place and society. For Tony. His vision of Europe’s future included the European Union expanding to embrace Turkey: I absolutely passionately believe that Turkey is part of Europe. as well as its similarities with its neighbours. If orientations to citizenship can be usefully classified as communitarian versus liberal individualistic. He was a ‘constitutional patriot’ but claimed that the constitution had to grow organically. His national identity was explicitly based on citizenship. 2004) may be too static. which resonate with differences in their presentations of their national identity. Even the more fluid imagery of ingredients folded into each (Risse. they all tend toward the former.sagepub. they are positive about the shared values and institutions they identify as European. Europe brought Germany in and France together.
Follow-up interviews indicated that those sharing this level of strong European identity were passionately European. The majority of those without a European identity were neutral or mildly positive about the European Union. Their tales of being Scottish citizens of Britain included educating others that Scotland is not in England. As Bauman suggested. 2004) but not one they chose to fill or to which they ‘electively belong’ (Savage et al. Some made occasional claims of being more European than the English by way of demonstrating a distinctive or superior identity as a Scot but many never thought of themselves as European. Most had strong Scottish identities and some.com at National School of Political on January 21. more in the target than the representative sample. 2005). neither past nor present everyday lives nor high days and holidays created a self-defining sense of being European. and a sense of being better liked by other Europeans than the English were. For most. Most would agree that. For a large majority of the representative sample and a substantial minority proportion of the target sample. Europe was not sufficiently salient to mean much. These are positions of very small political minorities. Even within this there was complex variability in how they related ‘being European’ to their places of residence. Young adult residents of Edinburgh did not typically see their lives as framed by Edinburgh-in-Scotland/Britain-and-Europe. these respondents tended to embrace a vision of Europe that has yet to be fully realized: more holistic than Downloaded from soc. indifference to Europe was absent minded.676 Sociology Volume 41 ■ Number 4 ■ August 2007 Conclusion The data reported have allowed exploration of the significance of being European for Edinburgh-based 18–24-year-old UK citizens. ‘being European’ was not primarily about enhancing their credentials as a Scot but involved both their sense of self and their sense of Europe in the world. comparing a representative sample of established residents and a target sample whose study or work orients them towards Europe. For these respondents. and Karl’s brand of socialist rejection of the EU as monetarism. 2013 .. had strong British identities. Seven per cent of the representative sample and 42 per cent of the target sample had a strong European identity (EI of 3 or 4). Our follow-up interviews provided contrasting examples: Mhairi’s rejection of the EU along with the British union. more radically separatist than the Scottish Nationalist party. as one respondent explained. Their sense of enjoying Edinburgh typically emphasized a city lifestyle not a European capital. Those who took part in follow-up interviews indicated that they were aware of the geography of what is typically called Europe and of Britain’s membership in the European Union but. although some made reference to negative media portrayals. these experiences were not matched by a self-defining sense of being European. trying to behave well towards other nationals as good ambassadors for Scotland or Britain. A few rejected ‘being European’ on grounds of political antipathy to the European Union.sagepub. In this sense Europe is not only an ‘empty’ category (Breakwell. Many still think of Europe as ‘over there’. nevertheless. an unexamined habit rather than a conscious turning away. nationality and citizenship. The majority of the representative sample could not say what Europe meant to them.
Notes 1 This study.ed. Recurrent themes involved friendships. shared experiences. Slovakia and Spain for the pleasure of working with them and to the European Commission for funding the project. and note the enormous loss to our academic community resulting from her sudden death. the Institute for Advanced Studies. however. Slovak Academy of Sciences) ˇ Spain (Maria Ros and Miryam Rodriguez Monter. Vienna). it was more often to delimit Europe than to advocate blurring boundaries between ‘being European’ and a world community in which all are ‘citizens of the world’. Respondents rarely attributed their sense of being European to their higher education. Acknowledgements Thanks to the participants in our surveys and in-depth interviews for giving their time and views. We wish to make a special acknowledgement of the contribution of María Ros García. England.uk/sociol/youth) was funded as part of the European Commission 5th framework programme. ‘Orientations of Young Men and Women to Citizenship and European Identity’ (http://www. When human rights issues were explicitly raised by respondents. Ross Bond and Michael Rosie and the anonymous reviewers for their comments. Most. International University Bremen) Slovakia (Ladislav Machácek. emotions and meaningful communication with European nationals from other countries.ac. What was the process of becoming passionate Europeans in contrast to widespread indifference to Europe? Studying European issues and languages did not automatically have this result. school-exchange schemes and interaction with his MEP gave him a conscious sense of growing up in a town-in-Scotland-and-Europe.European identities Grundy & Jamieson 677 economic and political cooperation and more diffuse than membership of the European Union. however. Germany (Klaus Boehnke and Daniel Fuss. The material circumstances. Gabriel Bianchi and Barbara Lášticová. Most referred to events and influences much earlier in their biographies. did not go so far as conflating European and global community or European and global citizenship in their imagining of Europe. Universidad Complutense de Downloaded from soc. lived experience of town-twinning. to our colleagues in Austria. 2013 . Thanks to Susan Condor. Germany. Only exceptionally did they report that the localities of their childhood deliberately nurtured a sense of imagined community or civic engagement with other Europeans. It was coordinated by Lynn Jamieson and involved scholars from Austria (Claire Wallace and Reingard Spannring. the coordinator of the Madrid aspect of the larger collaborative project of which these data are one part.sagepub.com at National School of Political on January 21. For the exceptions like Bryan. social and cultural capitals of their childhoods enabled these friendships and formative experiences. Human rights and democratic citizenships were a taken for granted aspect of Europe rather than a focus of an expansive ‘constitutional patriotism’.
. 40–58. Breakwell. J.678 Sociology Volume 41 ■ Number 4 ■ August 2007 2 3 4 5 6 Madrid and Hector Grad and Gema Garcia Albacete. Castano. Proceedings of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas. like Karl and Tony. S. S. Benhabib. Wales. Brewer (eds) Transnational Identities. T. Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield. M. Universidad Autonoma de Madrid) and the UK (Susan Condor. G.sociology. T. Bauman. EI = European Identity index. Risse and M. Condor and C. Political Psychology 27: 191–217. J. Sociology 40(4): 609–26. RS = representative sample. (2004) The Rights of Others: Aliens.ed. Herrmann. R. in D. Citrin. Faulkner and J. 8th International Conference. Z. (2005) Citizens of Europe? The Emergence of Mass European Identity. in R. Cambridge: Polity Press. Risse and M.. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 30(1): 21–39.com at National School of Political on January 21. 25–39. a composite measure which counts the number of times people express a strong European identity in answer to four questions resulting in a score ranging from 0 to 4. Herrmann. Some. The final report of the project. References Abell. Downloaded from soc. Bond. Bruter. 22–27 July. Meyer-Dinkgrafe (ed. were chosen by respondents. Civil Society and National Identity in Scotland and in England’. ac. Condor. Ideally we would have used our composite measure of several items to select respondents but the project was part of an international collaboration and not all questions asked in Edinburgh were asked by all national teams.) European Culture in a Changing World. It was our intention to use the same selection criteria in terms of years of residence in Edinburgh and Britain but difficulty in recruiting resulted in some relaxation of these specifications and a few had lived in Edinburgh for fewer than five years. Brewer (eds) Transnational Identities pp. Stevenson (2006) ‘“We Are an Island”: Geographical Imagery in Accounts of Citizenship. (2004) Europe: An Unfinished Adventure. (2006) ‘Belonging and Becoming: National Identity and Exclusion’. in R. Lynn Jamieson and Sue Grundy. (2004) ‘European Identity: A Social Psychological Perspective’. Sides (2004) ‘More than Nationals: How Identity Choice Matters in the New Europe’.uk/youth This was short of the desired sample size of 500 but time and budget did not allow for extending the search. E. (2004) ‘Identity Change in the Context of the Growing Influence of European Union Institutions’. S. working papers and the questionnaire used in the survey can be found at: http://www. pp. and J. along with briefings. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lancaster University. M. Residents and Citizens. Abell (2002) ‘Discourses of National Identity and Integration in England and in Scotland’. M. ISSEI. Bruter. T. Risse and M. 161–85. Herrmann. TS = target sample. Brewer (eds) Transnational Identities. (2004) ‘On What Citizens Mean by Feeling “European”’.sagepub. pp. Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield. 2013 . Aberystwyth. Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield. University of Edinburgh). in R.
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She is a codirector of the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (www.‘“So Long As I Take My Mobile”: Mobile Phones and Geographies of Children’s Safety’. Yuval-Davis (1999) ‘Women and the New Discourse of Citizenship’. Citizenship and European Identity’. UK. and N. 1998).ac. UK. 1–38. with Lynn Jamieson. Address: Department of Sociology. childhood and migration. Sue Grundy Is a research fellow whose interests include youth.crfr. Edinburgh EH8 9LL. with Rachel Pain and Sally Gill. ‘Orientations of Young Men and Women to Citizenship and European Identity’ (http://www. in P. Sherrod et al.uk/youth).‘Youth. Citizenship and Difference. 2005.socresonline. in L. E-mail: l.sagepub. University of Edinburgh. social and political action. London: Zed Books.ed. identity. Jamieson (eds) Families and the State: Changing Relationships (Palgrave. 2013 . University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh EH8 9LL.com at National School of Political on January 21. Cunningham-Burley and L.ac.uk/10/3/grundy. 2003) and Intimacy: Personal Relationships in Modern Societies (Polity Press.680 Sociology Volume 41 ■ Number 4 ■ August 2007 Werbner.uk Downloaded from soc.sociology.ac.uk). International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 29(4). Address: Department of Sociology.ac. Yuval-Davis (eds) Women.grundy@ed. pp.html. (eds) Youth Activism: An International Encyclopaedia (Greenwood Press.jamieson@ed. identity. 2005. E-mail: sue. http://www. P. Recent publications include ‘Are We All Europeans Now?’ Sociological Research Online 10(3). the life course and social change. Her interests encompass intimacy. 2006). Werbner and N. Her books include S.uk Lynn Jamieson Coordinated the 5th framework project.org.
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