London Metropolitan University Research Institutes
 
 

Young Europeans' Constructions of Identity and Citizenship: Crossing European borders

(Jean Monnet ad personam Professorship)

Funded by:

European Commission: Jean Monnet programme


Timescale:

September 2009 – September 2014

Aims of the project:


This project is attached to the personal chair in the Jean Monnet programme awarded to Alistair Ross. Over the period of the chair, he is carrying out a personal investigation into how young people of secondary school age are constructing their personal identities, and becoming aware of their actual or potential European citizenship.  His focus is on two groups of countries: the three candidate states of Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro, Iceland and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and four sets of countries that have fairly recently joined the Union (the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), the Visigrad States of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, Cyprus, and the Black Sea States of Bulgaria and Romania).

The investigation – small scale and qualitative in nature – involves talking with small groups of school students and their teachers about their perceptions and views.  These young people are at the ‘border crossing’ of Europe, and their perceptions – and that of those who teach them – will be of particular interest and importance.

The outcomes are being taken to seminars and roundtables in each of the three candidate countries and each of the three groups of countries, as well as being fed back into teaching at London Metropolitan.

Further details of the project are available at Alistair Ross’s website: www.alistairross.eu

The overall aim is to gather qualitative data, analyse and describe how young people in recently joined or candidate countries are engaged in the social construction of identities in the European context; to discuss and reflect on this with their teachers and with teacher educators; and to publish and disseminate. 

Publications

Events

Jean Monnet Lecture Series: 'Young people's constructions of identity in Slovenia'.

  • Kaleidoscopic identities: Young people constructing themselves in the New Europe,
    3 June 2014

The final lecture in the Jean Monnet Lecture Series: Border Crossings, Moving Borders by Prof Alistair Ross will bring together findings from the fifteen countries in this study – all the countries that have joined the European Union between 2004 and 2013, and the Candidate Countries of Turkey, Iceland and Macedonia.  How do young people in these countries see themselves and their relationship to their country and to Europe?

The study has involved 150 focus groups, with nearly a thousand young people between 11 and 19.  This lecture suggests that identities are being constructed as though using a kaleidoscope: the same elements are thrown into different patterns depending on the nature of the lens, the cultural filters, and the angles of the contrasts and comparisons that are being contingently employed.

The lecture will take place on Tuesday 3rd June at 5.30pm in Room T1-20, London Metropolitan University, 166-220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB.

To book your place, please click here: Jean Monnet Lecture Series

 
The Lecture Series

As part of his Jean Monnet personal Chair activities, Alistair Ross is researching how young people of secondary school age are constructing their personal identities, and becoming aware of their actual or potential European citizenship. This three year study planned until 2012, focuses on two groups of countries: some that have recently joined the European Union and the four candidate countries. Each country has either ‘crossed the border’ into the European Union, or is about to do so.

The research with young people between 12 and 18 in each country examines the various aspirations and identities being constructed and used. How do they view Europe, and the potential for their role within it? Is this different from the views of their parents, their teachers? Does education have a particular role to play in helping them develop these identities? A growing number of young people in parts of the European Union are acknowledging an at least partial sense of European identity alongside their national identity: the degree to which this is acknowledged varies by nationality, gender and social class, as well as by age. Understanding how new young Europeans construct their idea of Europe, their role in it, and what it means to be European will be of value and importance to a very wide audience.

Previous Jean Monnet Lectures

All of the Jean Monnet lectures can be accessed on Youtube.  Please click here for playlist of all videos or click below for individual lecture videos:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLItN3B6F2de_rdXl1Z7H19qewLDiun80b

 

‘Young Identities in the Baltic’ Lecture by Professor Alistair Ross (February 2011)

This first lecture focused on the identities and experiences of young people in the Baltic countries. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania present a particularly fascinating context for identity formation. Briefly independent between 1920 and 1939, they have become independent of the Soviet Union in 1991, and joined the EU in 2004. The young people in the study are the first generation born in these post-Soviet countries, and have been socialised in greatly different circumstances to their parents and grandparents.

This lecture was the first in a series of Jean Monnet Lectures: Border Crossings, Moving Borders examining the shifting identities of young people growing up in recent or near recent countries joining the EU by Professor Alistair Ross (Jean Monnet ad personam professor, Institute for Policy Studies in Education, London Metropolitan University) and was introduced by Professor Malcolm Gillies (Vice-Chancellor, London Metropolitan University).

 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmiE3TCTrms

 

 Young Identities in Turkey, Lecture by Professor Alistair Ross (June 2011)

Turkish society, culture and politics are changing at a rapid pace, and young people are being socialised into a complex and heterogeneous set of social structures.  Minority groups are being increasingly vocal and more recognised.  Turkey has been actively negotiating entry into the European Union over the past six years.  The young people in the study comprise a generation born into these major changes, and have been socialised in greatly different circumstances to their parents and grandparents.  Based on focus groups in Istanbul and various Turkish cities and towns, the research included a wide variety of young people – from conservative Turkish youth to members of the Alevi and Kurdish minorities.

This lecture was the second in the series of Jean Monnet Lectures: Border Crossings, Moving Borders.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux0JoBbnMzQ

 

'Young Peoples’ Identities in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary: changes and continuities' Lecture by Professor Alistair Ross (October 2011)

This third lecture in the Jean Monnet Lecture Series: Border Crossings, Moving Borders looked at young people in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary - what are sometimes called the Visigrad states.  All four countries have been through major political, economic and social changes in the past two decades: how much have these impacted on the young people born since 1989?  Do they have different constructions of their understanding of their country, and of Europe, than their parents or grandparents?  The lecture presented the results of a series of focus groups in which over 250 young people, in small groups, discussed their ideas about their identities and futures.

 

http://youtu.be/ihZU_w2Gb44

 

'European Islands: similarities and differences in young people’s constructions of identities in Iceland and Cyprus' Lecture by Professor Alistair Ross (January 2012)

This fourth lecture in the Jean Monnet Lecture Series: Border Crossings, Moving Borders, looked at young people in Iceland and Cyprus - one country a candidate country for membership of the European Union, the other a recent new member. Both are islands, and both are geographically at some distance from the core continental landmass of Europe.  How do these factors impact on young people's sense of being European and Icelandic or Cypriot? Do they have different constructions of their understanding of their country, and of Europe, than their parents or grandparents?  The lecture presents the results of a series of focus groups in which over 250 young people, in small groups, discussed their ideas about their identities and futures.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3bR9KFOXuU

 

'Changing constructions of identities among Romanian young people' Lecture by Professor Alistair Ross (June 2012)

This fifth lecture in the Jean Monnet Lecture Series: Border Crossings, Moving Borders, looked at young people in Romania.  Romanian society, culture and politics are changing at a rapid pace, and young people are being socialised into a complex and heterogeneous set of social structures.  Romania joined the European Union in 2007 as one of the poorest countries in the community, but with a population of over 21 million it is the seventh largest country.  The young people in the study comprise a generation born into these major changes, and have been socialised in greatly different circumstances to their parents and grandparents.  Based on focus groups in four different locations, the research included a wide variety of young people.
 

http://youtu.be/kU3NH_5aUlw

'Young people's constructions of identity in Bulgaria' Lecture by Professor Alistair Ross (December 2012)

This sixth lecture in the Jean Monnet Lecture Series: Border Crossings, Moving Borders, looked at young people in Bulgaria.  Bulgaria is one of the least affluent counties in the European Union, and its young people are being socialised into a complex and heterogeneous set of social structures.  The young people in the study comprise a generation born into major changes, and have developed their ideas of their identity in greatly different circumstances to their parents and grandparents.  Based on focus groups in three different locations in Bulgaria, the research included a wide variety of young people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKESRKLkjro

 

'Young people's constructions of identity in Slovenia' Lecture by Prof Alistair Ross (May 2013)

This seventh lecture in the Jean Monnet Lecture Series: Border Crossings, Moving Borders, looked at young people in Slovenia.  Slovenia was established as a state in June 1991 when it was the first state to split from Yugoslavia, and joined the European Union in 2004.  One of the more affluent of the new members, but with a population of about two million, the young people in the study comprise a generation born into major changes, and have developed their ideas of their identity in greatly different circumstances to their parents and grandparents.  Based on focus groups in Slovenia, the research included a wide variety of young people, including those from the Roma minority.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7xdQe-wD2o


'Balkan and European? Young people constructing identities in Croatia'  Lecture by Prof Alistair Ross
(July 2013)

This eighth lecture in the Jean Monnet Lecture Series: Border Crossings, Moving Borders, looked at young people in Croatia.  Croatia joined the European Union on the 1st July 2013, the first new state to do so since 2008.  Croatian young people see themselves at part Balkan, part European, and their identities are of particular interest at this moment.  Based on eleven focus groups at various locations in Croatia, held at the end of 2012, this lecture is particularly timely. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmB66tWNLZ0

 

'Macedonian Young People: Constructing Identities in a Contested Country' Lecture by Prof Alistair Ross (March 2014)

This ninth lecture in the Jean Monnet Lecture Series: Border Crossings, Moving Borders, focused on Macedonia and how its young people construct identities.  Macedonia is a Candidate country to join the European Union, but the name and integrity of the country are disputed by some of its neighbours, and the country is divided between those of Macedonian and Albanian origin. How do young people see themselves as Macedonians, and how do they see themselves as European?  Based on eleven focus groups with 12 to 18 year olds at various locations in Macedonia, this lecture explores the natures of identities in an area of rivalries.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xsYYKNg9Ss

Project team:

Professor Alistair Ross
Tel: 0207 133 2674
E-mail: a.ross@londonmet.ac.uk

Administrator: Angela Kamara
Tel: 0207 133 4189
E-mail: a.kamara@londonmet.ac.uk

For more information, please see: http://www.alistairross.eu/






 

   Company Information    Page last updated 05 November 2009     Contact Page Owner (Angela Kamara)