192.3 Global meanings and narratives shared in the local context

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 3:00 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Gemma SCALISE , Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Florence, Italy, Florence, Italy
The research project aims to analyse the role of transnational social relations in conceptualizing Europe. I assume that the meanings attributed to Europe are shaped by the social context and interactions: the European identity is socially constructed in everyday life. Since the start of the European integration, many theoretical and empirical approaches have focused on the study of the EU, Europe and the European identity: Neofuntionalism, Institutionalism and Constructivism. Structuralist and comparative approaches look at quantitative data from cross-national surveys. “Post-national” analysis use new empirical methodologies to enphasize the European dynimic dimension and, according to them, identity is a “reflexive” social construction and a concept “detached” from territory.

The empirical part of the project takes aim at catching the meanings, definitions and narratives of Europe shared by people, which contribute to the construction of the European identity. The main conceptualizations of Europe will be linked to some “types” of Europen identity. For this purpose, a  sample of “common” European citizens and their social networks are analyzed. Because of the active involvment of the Tuscan region in the EU, the selected case-study is the social relations' network of teachers-students-parents in some secondary schools located in Tuscany. Some of these schools took part in international cooperation projects and their teachers and students are involved in transnational networks of social relations.