The development of a sense of positive identification with the 'European project' by ordinary citizens is crucial for the long-term success of the European Union. The current state-of-the-art in research into European identity has been driven almost exclusively by a 'top down' elitist perspective that focuses upon the development of an identification with 'Europe' through centrally-driven policies. The Euroidentities project will use advanced methods of qualitative biographical interviewing and analysis to gain insights into the evolution and meanings of a European identity or identities from the 'bottom up' perspective of the individual. This will include investigating the factors that promote or retard a positive identification with 'Europe' and the Community. The project's research strategy will be to target five special 'sensitized groups' -- aggregates whose life experience will have caused them to confront questions of their own identity within Europe. The five groups broadly conceived are: 'transnational workers' at all levels from menial economic migrants to 'high end' technological workers; mature adults who experienced cross-border educational exchange schemes earlier in their lives; farmers wo are subject to Europe-wide markets and systems of regulation; 'cultural contact' workers; participants in civil society organisations. The seven partner teams in Euroidenties include large and small nations who are in both orignal and accession states located both in the peripheries and the core of Europe. Euroidentities will employ a focused dissemination strategy that will include from the outset interaction with policy makers and others in public arenas at national and European levels.
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