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Why Do We Feel European? Social Mechanisms of European Identity

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Author(s): Geetha GARIB

Journal: Journal of Identity and Migration Studies
ISSN 1843-5610

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 108;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Europeanisation | European identity | pride | EU importance | European Union countries | Eurobarometer data

ABSTRACT
This article examines variables from social sciences influencing European identity in Western Europe. The study shows that several social variables can be used to predict the level of European identity, which can lead to a stronger European integration of citizens. Eurobarometer data from European Union countries show that specific social variables have a higher relevance for predicting European identity. In particular, the perceived importance of the EU, European pride and whether the EU is perceived as a good or a bad thing are used to predict one’s European identity. Also, over time, there is a change in the social variables which are salient for determining one’s European identity. European pride has become a stronger determinant of European identity compared to the perceived importance of the EU.
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