London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

“Am I European?” - The cognitive and emotional aspects of Hungarian and Romanian adolescents’ European identities

Author(s) Szabó, E., Lörinczi, J. & Secui, M.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2011  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell, Europe's Future: Citizenship in a Changing World  
Age group -  
This paper addresses the topic of European and national identities, in the context of European Union, considered as a multi-national society. The problem raised by the situation of multiple memberships at subgroups and superordinate levels is the persons’ representation of the relationship between these identities in terms of opposition, independence, or positive correlation, and the position towards the integration in a superordinate category. Our research investigates the attitudes of two samples of 100 Hungarian and 100 Romanian adolescents towards their memberships of the European Union. The participants in both samples were high school students, aged between 16-17 years old. All of them were nationals of their country, and had both parents of the same origin and nationality. The emotional aspect of attitudes concerning European and national membership were investigated using Semantic Selection Test (De’Escury, 2008; Szabó, 2010) and the cognitive and behavioral components of these attitudes were explored by a questionnaire focusing on the perceived consequences of their country’s European integration. The questionnaire was designed by the authors, based on the results of previous studies in the field (Bruter, 2005; Chryssochoou, 2000, Eurobarometer). The results suggest that the adolescents emphasized the economic advantages of the European integration, and also the freedom to travel, study and work abroad. The preservation of some specific aspects of national identity was a source of concern, also the problem of the national group’s status within the superordinate group. The results are discussed in relation to the findings of the previous studies in the field. Keywords: European Integration; national identity; superordinate groups; adolescence

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