This paper presents original findings from a research project aiming to analyze the change of identities related to the process of European integration and the influence of the local, national and supranational dimensions in the conceptualization of Europe. It assumes that the meanings attributed to Europe are shaped by social context and everyday interactions and adopts a postnational theoretical and methodological perspective (Trenz 2008): identity is considered as a reflexive and processual social construction contextualized in a transnational narrative space (Eder 2009). The empirical analysis focuses on women’s perspective on Europe. The case-study examins the narratives of Europe shared in different women’s networks, selected in diverse socio-economic and cultural local contexts, and shows how they contribute to the construction of social bonds within Europe. The research findings underline three main outcomes: first, the relevance of the crisis on the narratives of Europe, which deeply affects both women’s representation and daily experience of Europe, shaping their European’s sense of belonging; second, the local embeddedness of European’s narratives and identities, wich are constructed using local resources and are rooted in regional territories; third, the weight of the “habitus” on the openness toward Europe in local identities, which is related to some variables such as education, the social, economic and cultural capital, media exposure as well as transnational networking, participation and experiencing Europe. These factors influence the dynamic of identity formation and lead to different types of European identity.
Gemma Scalise, PdD
Department of Political and Social Sciences,
University of Florence