|Author(s)||Hoyos et al:|
|Editor||Europe of Many Cultures, Alastair Ross Ed.|
Within the literature on children's understanding of society, nationality has been a significant topic since the first study conducted by Piaget and Weil in 1951 (Barret & Buchanan-Barrow, 2002; Echeita et al., 1984). Nationality is one of the major groupings by which societies are structured. Within the framework of societal cognition, the construction of national identity illustrates the genesis of the individual as political thinker, and contributes to the understanding of her/his behaviour as a citizen. This political dimension of the individual, related to the meaning and value of her/his national group, is shown in their reasoning on phenomena such as abstention in elections, electoral corruption, attitudes towards national symbols, and attitude to foreign people. Societies are also increasingly characterised by the phenomenon of migration: individuals from different countries attempt to become full members of new communities by acquiring legal nationality.