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1.1 Introduction

'The world of volunteering has today reported a dramatic increase in the number of people looking for opportunities to volunteer. Leaders of national volunteering organisations attribute this to a rise in unemployment across the UK.'

Volunteer England, 21 April 2009
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References

Ashcroft, S. and Timms, N. (1992) What Europe Thinks, Aldershot, Dartmouth.
Baker, S. (2001) ‘Environmental governance in the EU’ in Thompson, G. (ed.) Governing the European Economy, London, Sage/The Open University.
Bauer, M. and Bertin-Mourot, B. (1999) ‘National models for making and legitimating elites’, European Societies, vol.1, no.1, pp.9
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1.7.2 Summary

  • The EU is an economic, juridical and, to a certain extent, a political reality but a single European public space has not emerged yet.

  • The establishment of European citizenship could play a crucial part in fostering a common European public space.

  • European citizenship could encourage Europeans to play a more active role in EU affairs and participate in governance processes.


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1.6.3 Summary

  • High culture tends to unite Europeans.

  • Education plays a key role in the construction of national identity. A common curriculum shared by all European peoples will be crucial in fostering the development of a European identity.


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1.6.1 High culture

It has been said that high culture unites Europeans, while low culture separates them. Another way of putting it is to say that the European elites share a considerable amount of culture, while the masses do not.

For Mike Featherstone it is legitimate to talk about European culture in the sense of a ‘symbolic representation, a historic idea which has developed above that of the nation state, yet does not entail the elimination of national cultural affiliations’ (Featherstone, 1996,
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1.5.2 Summary

  • The development of a European identity will be the outcome of a long process in which bottom-up as well as top-down initiatives are likely to be employed.


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1.4.2 Unification and the EU

With the development of the EU an arena for collective action has appeared. But, as we shall see in SubSection 1.4.3, it is rather limited and it cannot be compared to the public sphere of the member states. Although collective actors have reacted to the emergence of new European-based institutions, due to internal constraints not all are in t
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1.3.1 Europe and the EU

Is there a Europe beyond the EU? This is a question that becomes more and more difficult to answer. It is quite common for example to hear of such or such a country wishing to ‘join Europe’, when what is meant is that they wish to apply to join the EU.

The criteria for joining the EU were laid down in the summit of Copenhagen, 21 and 22 June 1993. Candidates must have reached an institutional stability that guarantees democracy, legality, human rights, and the respect and protection
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1.2.1 The role of the Eurobarometer

In 1973 the Directorate of Information of the European Commission instituted a survey of public opinion amongst the members of the EEC. So now, twice a year, a sample of about 1,000 people from each country are interviewed on topics related to European integration and EU policy and institutions. This survey of public opinion is usually referred to as Eurobarometer. The reports are initially published by the Commission in French and English, though they are subsequently made available i
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Learning outcomes

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
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Introduction

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
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

I would like to thank Liz Stokoe and Jackie Abell for giving me access to their transcript of the Panorama interview and along with Peter Bull generously sharing their unpublished work and knowledge of Diana lit
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1.13 Conclusion

So far we have traversed three kinds of domain in which the study of discourse is relevant. Discourse is often (but not necessarily) interactional and researchers have studied the order and pattern in social interaction. The study of discourse also has important psychological implications for the study of minds, selves and sense-making. Finally, discourse is about social relations, culture, government and politics.

No doubt, as you have been reading some problematic and confusing areas
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1.12 The politics of representation

We turn now to consider Diana as an icon, as the subject of discourse. It could be said that Diana and the many words written about her form a discursive space (Gilbert et al., 1999; Silverstone, 1998). She is the rather enigmatic centre of many competing representations of royalty, femininity, democracy, the family, morality, celebrity, fashion, private versus public life which jostle with each other. Such a discursive space is a place of argument. To use another metaphor, it i
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1.11.1 Subject positions

In her analysis, Blackman is identifying a pattern in Diana's talk and relating it to other similar methods of self-representation found in our culture. It is worth thinking through this in more detail. One key claim of discourse researchers is that language positions people – discourse creates subject positions. What does this mean? To speak at all is to speak from a position (remember the discussion of footing in the previous section). Further than this, the positions or slots in c
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1.10 Voice and the speaking subject

Discursive practices, as we have seen, order the shape of written and spoken discourse; they order the features which appear and the selection of words and phrases. But these properties are only a small subset of those which govern meaning-making. In this and in the next section we will be more concerned with patterns in the content of discourse and the psychological and sociological implications of those patterns. This will help elaborate further on the notion that language is constru
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1.9.2 To sum up

Such an analysis reinforces the notion of discourse as a form of work or labour. It also implies a strategic speaker. But, again, is this the case? Are speakers strategic in this way or just doing what comes naturally? It can suggest, too, a duplicity in Diana's actions. Potter is not implying this, however. Rather, as knowledgeable speakers and competent members of discursive communities, we are all, like Diana, skilled in a range of methods for accomplishing different activities such as sta
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1.9.1 ‘I dunno’

In his analysis of Extract 5, Potter focuses on the phrase ‘I dunno’, which appears at the beginning and at the end of Diana's last turn above. This phrase seems throwaway, just one fragment, yet perhaps it illustrates something about people's methods or discursive practices more widely. Why is that phrase there? What work does it do? Given the point made in the previous section that events can always be described differently, why this description of this kind of mental state at this poin
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1.7.1 Footing

The practices which make up a speech event or the interaction order can be quite fine grained. In documentary programmes such as Panorama, for instance, interviewers have to be particularly sensitive to the accusation that they are biased, that they are not sufficiently detached or impartial. As Clayman (1992) demonstrates, one way interviewers achieve this while still asking pertinent and provocative questions is through adjusting their footing. The term ‘footing’ again com
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1.6.2 Joining the Euro-zone

For all the new members there will be a process of ‘catching up’ with the older members before the former can join the Euro-zone. The GDP gap between them remains considerable. In 2002 the GDP per capita was 60 per cent of the EU average for Slovenia and the Czech Republic (in PPP terms (see the footnote to Author(s): The Open University

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