London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Moving borders, crossing boundaries: young people’s identities in a time of change 3: constructing identities in European islands - Cyprus and Iceland

Author(s) Ross, A., Issa, T., Philippou, S. & Aðalbjarnardóttir, S.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2012  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell (eds.) Creating Communities: Local, National and Global  
Age group -  
This is the third of a series of presentations based on the development of a project being undertaken under the aegis of a Jean Monnet Professorship. Previous papers (Ross 2010, 2011) reported on the Baltic states, the Visegrad states and Turkey. This paper focuses on two rather different European states, both islands. Cyprus is a post 2004 member of the European Union, and Iceland is a candidate country. What discourses do young people use to construct their sense of identities, in relation to their potential national identity and potential European identity? We examine these in the context of Bruter’s (2005) thesis that identities can be constructed around institutional or cultural axes; Jamieson and Grundy’s (2007) descriptions of ‘passionate’ and ‘indifferent’ Europeanism; and the emerging descriptions of generational changes in identity, reported variously by Fulbrook (2011) and Miller-Idriss (2009). We suggest that there are significant differences between the constructions of identities in these two locations when compared to mainland or ‘continental’ European societies, but also some similarities, particularly in terms of intergenerational change. Keywords: identities, constructivism, national, European, Cyprus, Iceland

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