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Europe - a default or a dream? European identity formation among Bulgarian and English children

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journal contribution
posted on 15.10.2013, 13:24 by Vera Y. Slavtcheva-Petkova, Sabina MiheljSabina Mihelj
This article examines the formation of European identity among children in two very different countries: the traditionally Eurosceptic United Kingdom and the enthusiastic EU newcomer, Bulgaria. The paper revisits existing debates about the relationships between European identity, knowledge and the political and historical context, paying particular attention to the meanings attached to Europe. It demonstrates that children who identify as European are more likely to see Europe in geographic terms, which facilitates the perception of the European identity as 'default'. In contrast, children who refuse to describe themselves as European see Europe as an exclusive political entity, associated with high standards and distant elites. These perceptions are significantly more common among Bulgarian children, who often depict Europe as a dream, and perceive the European identity as an ideal they aspire to reach. The article also shows how ethnicity and the images of Europe influence the relationship between national and European identities. © The Author(s) 2012.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Citation

SLAVTCHEVA-PETKOVA, V. and MIHELJ, S., 2013. Europe - a default or a dream? European identity formation among Bulgarian and English children. Ethnicities, 13 (5), pp. 565 - 583

Publisher

Sage / © the authors

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2013

Notes

This article was published in the journal, Ethnicities [Sage / © the authors]. The definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1468796812465722

ISSN

1468-7968

eISSN

1741-2706

Language

en