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Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review


Volume 36, 2004, No. 3

Content:


  Young People in Bratislava and Prague: National and Supra-National Identities
Ladislav Macháček

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National identity; supra-national identity; youth European identity

Young People in Bratislava and Prague: National and Supra-National Identities The split of Czechoslovakia is a challenge for politicians and sociologists even after a decade. An answer is sought to the question of whether the actions of the political elite were justified in the light of the commencement of European integration and the complicated split of the big federations (Yugoslavia and Soviet Union) with the consequences for peace and European stability. An answer is sought to the question of whether the Slovak or Czech public would support or refuse their decision if they had been given a referendum on the matter. In 2003, Slovakia, along with the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Estonia and Malta, successfully concluded pre-accession negotiations for EU membership (guarantee of implementing the standards of democratic governance), which officially begins on May 1st 2004. Being more enthusiastic for the newly independent Slovak Republic does not necessarily translate itself into lesser enthusiasm about Europe and European Union. However, young people from the Bratislava consider being future EU citizens as more important than young people from the Prague The young citizens of Bratislava have much greater expectations in Slovakia’s EU membership at the level of “being” in Europe than “having” something from Europe. Slovakia will gain by EU membership a certificate of democratic country and “the Slovak chair at the European table”

Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 36, 2004, No. 3: 195-217.

 
  The Meaning and Importance of European Identity and its Relationship to Regional and National Identities in Spain: Some Contributing Factors to the Development of European Identity
Héctor Grad, Maria Ros, Gema Garcia-Albacete, Miryam Rodríguez-Monter

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European identity; youth; regional identity; national identity

The Meaning and Importance of European Identity and its Relationship to Regional and National Identities in Spain: Some Contributing Factors to the Development of European Identity. European, Spanish, and regional identities were studied as part of a wider research survey of youth beliefs and experiences regarding the European Union. The research was conducted in the capital city (Madrid) and the Basque Country (Bilbao). At each location, representative and European-oriented youth samples (N=400 and N=100 each) of 18-24 years (50% female) were gathered. The interviewees were asked about their perception of border countries as included in Europe, and to rate different feasible meanings of the EU, its impact (at personal, regional, and country levels), and different cognitive, affective and evaluative aspects of European, Spanish and regional identities. Regarding European borders, Turkey was the only country most interviewees did not perceive as part of or belonging to Europe. Geography, membership in the EU and, above all, the Euro currency emerged as the most salient features of meaning for Europe (beyond shared values and traditions). The European Union was perceived as having a positive, but small impact for the person, moderate for the region, and greater impact for the country of Spain. The identity patterns were similar in most of their aspects: In Madrid, the Spanish identity was the most important, the importance of regional identity was similar to it, and the identification with Europe was moderate, the least important. In Bilbao, the identification with the Basque Country was the strongest, while Spanish and European identities were related and came out of “little” importance. Older interviewees presented stronger European identity in the pro-European but weaker in the general sample. Finally, interviewees considered themselves only “sometimes” as a “European citizen” with no significant difference by Region, Age or Gender group. These relationships seem to reflect the configuration of different levels of social identity. The hegemony of different nationalist orientations led to a distinct meaning of national identity in each region (Spain in Madrid but the Basque Country in Bilbao). Thus, instead of a continuum of social category inclusiveness (as suggested by Brewer 1991), the results show different breaches between levels of social categories and identities – between Basque and higher levels in Bilbao and between Spanish and higher levels in Madrid. Summing up, the identity level reflecting the dominant national identity seems to function as a basic category distinctively organizing the whole identity configuration. The impact of the European Union was perceived as much stronger for the country (Spain) than for the region and the person. Madrid and pro-European samples perceived stronger impact on the less inclusive categories. Beyond the different identity configurations, these patterns suggest a relationship between the weak perceived impact of the European Union on levels closer to the person and the weak identification with Europe. Finally, though interviewees did not recall learning a lot about the European Union at school, this perception, as well as the experience of visiting other European countries and mastering European languages, was enhanced in the younger and the pro-European sample (and among Bilbao respondents). Thus, personal and social experiences would reinforce the perceived impact of the European Union at the personal level and certainly contribute to reinforce a shared European identity beyond national-regional nuances in the Spanish context.

Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 36, 2004, No. 3: 219-236.

 
  Action, Reaction, Inaction? Young Adults’ Citizenship in Britain
Sue Grundy, Lynn Jamieson

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Young adults; citizenship; voting; party affiliation; participation

Action, Reaction, Inaction? Young Adults’ Citizenship in Britain. This paper examines young adults’ orientations to citizenship in Britain, drawing on surveys of random samples of 18-24 year olds. A range of experiences, behaviour and attitudes are explored including: citizenship education, voting, attitude to voting, party affiliation, participation in clubs and societies and engagement with social and political issues. These questions have been asked at a time when citizenship is on many agendas and there is much concern about the apparent apathy of young people regarding local, national and supranational issues. In Britain, some commentators hoped that the advent of a Scottish parliament would help re-engage young people in Scotland with politics and citizenship. This paper compares young people living in Edinburgh, Scotland with young people living in Manchester, an equivalent sized city in England. Like previous research, our data show that while young people are interested in social and political issues they do not focus their concerns on engagement with formal political systems. Many hold negative views about politics, such as feeling that they have little control over what the government does. However, young people’s disaffection with voting is somewhat lower in Edinburgh than Manchester despite no greater faith in political parties. This may be an effect of the Scottish parliament. At the same time, young people in Edinburgh are only slightly more likely to be involved in associations and no more likely to be interested in and engaged with a range of wider social and political issues. If there is an effect of devolution on active citizenship, it is, at least for this cohort of young citizens, a very modest one.

Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 36, 2004, No. 3: 237-252.

 
  “If you have a grandpa, send him to Europe”. Attitudes of young Austrians towards the EU elections
Reingard Spannring, Claire Wallace, Georg Datler

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Attitudes; EU-elections; young people; interesr in European politics

“If you have a grandpa, send him to Europe”. Attitudes of young Austrians towards the EU elections. With EU-elections coming up in 2004 this articles focuses on young Austrians’ willingness to take part in elections at a EU-level. On the basis of an international survey among young Europeans it will show how many young people in Austria express their intention to vote, how this compares with other European young people and how important EU-elections are considered relative to elections on other political levels. It will also analyse which factors influence interest in European politics. Further, an analysis of a focus group interview in Vienna will reveal the young people’s attitudes towards the EU-elections. The results show that a substantial part of the respondents are willing to vote. However, there are a number of problems associated with democracy on a EU-level impairing people’s motivation to get involved and active.

Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 36, 2004, No. 3: 253-272.

 
  The Role of Language Skills and Foreign Country Experiences in the Development of a European Identity
Daniel Fuss, Gema Garcia-Albacete, Miryam Rodríguez-Monter

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Language skills; foreign contry experiences; education policy; value preferences

The Role of Language Skills and Foreign Country Experiences in the Development of a European Identity. Starting from the idea of a ‘People’s Europe’ the paper examines language skills and foreign country experiences among young men and women from selected European cities. Data from the research project ‘Youth and European Identity’ show significant differences with regard to the average number of languages mastered and the frequency of stays abroad. The statistical findings indicate that the more languages an individual is able to speak, and the more foreign country experiences he or she has, the stronger is his or her identification with Europe. Hence, the analyses support a basic assumption of the European Union’s education policy: promoting a sense of European-ness by fostering foreign language learning and encouraging personal contacts beyond national borders. On the other hand, language skills and foreign country experiences are not independent of an individual’s value preferences. Rather, capabilities and experiences tend to go together with a general orientation towards values of ‘Openness to Change’.

Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 36, 2004, No. 3: 273-292.

 
  Gender and Sex Aspects of Multiple Identities: Young Women and Men from Bratislava and Prague Heading Toward the EU
Gabriel Bianchi, Barbara Lášticová

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Gender and sex aspects; multiple identities; youth; gender-related patterns of identity

Gender and Sex Aspects of Multiple Identities: Young Women and Men from Bratislava and Prague Heading Toward the EU. Previous analyses have shown that young people from Bratislava and Prague consistently show the highest indicators of gender-stereotyping and, at the same time, the lowest interest in gender-related issues from among samples from other European cities and/or regions – Edinburgh, Manchester, Madrid, Bilbao, Bielefeld, Chemnitz, Bregenz area of Vorarlberg, and Vienna (Bianchi, G., 2003). This paper examines the possible backgrounds and contexts of this extreme position of the Czech and Slovak respondents. The data were gathered within the framework of the EC-funded project “Youth and European Identity”. The study uses both quantitative (random sample of 3890 respondents in a survey) and qualitative (51 in-depth interviews) material to analyse sex differences in the multiple identity structures, as well as to identify the gender-related patterns of identity. The results are discussed within the concepts of gender mainstreaming, sexual and intimate citizenship and social identity and self-categorization theories.

Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 36, 2004, No. 3: 293-313.

 
 

recenzia:

 
  Kollár, Miroslav – Mesežnikov, Grigorij (eds.): Slovakia 2003
Martina Bausová

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Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 36, 2004, No. 3: 315-317.

 
  Falťan, Ľubomír (ed.): Mental Border. The Representations of Neighbours in Slovak-Austrian Border Regions
Katarína Moravanská

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Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 36, 2004, No. 3: 317-319.

 
  Zich, František (ed.): Regional Identity of Border Regions Inhabitants. Proceedings of the Conference „European, National, or Regional Identity?“
Magdaléna Piscová

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Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 36, 2004, No. 3: 319-321.

 
 

úvod:

 
  Introduction
Lynn Jamieson

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Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 36, 2004, No. 3: 191-194.