- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1. Overview
- 1 1 Who are Europeans?
- 1.2 Measuring European identity
- 1.3 Being in Europe, being European
- 1.4 The role of European elites in the unification of Europe
- 1.5 European identity
- 1.6High culture and education in the making of Europe
- 1.7 Toward a European civil society?
- 1.8 The future of the EU
- 1.9 Conclusion
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Who are Europeans?
What is Europe and what defines a European? This...
What is Europe and what defines a European? This unit looks at the development of identities within Europe and the European Union. You will assess the mechanisms through which a new identity commitment is being formed and the limitations of and oppositions to this process. Can a genuine European identity ever be created in an expanding multi-cultural European Union?
After studying this unit you will:
- recognise that ‘European identity’ is a socially constructed attribute;
- appreciate the basis for the unities as well as the divisions amongst Europeans;
- understand the ways European identities are assessed and measured;
- appreciate the key role of ‘culture’ in the organisation of a common European identity;
- see that European identity could be a bottom-up process as well as a top-down one.
Who are Europeans?
The problem of who, or what, are ‘Europeans’ is at the centre of many of the most acute political and social issues confronting contemporary Europe. Can a genuine European identity be constructed within Europe, and if so on what basis? This question is of even greater importance as the European Union expands and becomes ever more multicultural in character. This unit examines the ways in which European identities are – or are not – being forged across Europe. It assesses the various mechanisms through which a potentially new identity commitment is being formed, and the limitations of, and oppositions to, this process.
This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Governing Europe (DD200) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Geography course units or view the range of currently available OU Geography courses.