Towards A Social Identity For Europe? A Social Psychological Approach to European Identity Studies

Hakan Ovunc Ongur


Unlike traditionally nationalistic, cultural, and ethnic approaches to the discussions over European identity, this paper makes use of Henri Tajfel’s Social Identity Theory, and more specifically social identity, in order to have a more coherent and theoretically healthier approach to the concept. Borrowing from Tajfel, it is asserted that even without sharing a common culture, a common history, or a common set of traditions, values and aspirations, Europeans might form ingroups which may temporarily make them able to construct a social identity. Such is simple enough to indulge social comparisons with other social ingroups, making them outgroups, and some of them Other-ed. An historical perspective over Europeanization might establish a valuable field of observation regarding whether a possible European social identity, instead of an immanent one, might be detected since European political integration began in the 1970s. 

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Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

Copyright © Canadian Center of Science and Education 

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