2011 | 60 | 1 | 217-249
Article title

From Europe to Europeans and beyond. Meanings of Europe through people’s biographical experiences

Title variants
Od Europy do europejczyków i dalej.Znaczenia Europy w doświadczeniachbiograficznych
Languages of publication
This paper outlines results from the EU-research project “Euroidentities – The Evolution of European identity: Using biographical methods to study the development of European identity” ( Based on narrative interviews collected in seven EU Member States the study can show processes of Europeanization in everyday life and everyday practices emanating for those who in one way or other are taking up the opportunities offered by an integrated Europe. Against the observation of the phase of erosion of loyalties the institutional European Union is undergoing, the bottom up study points to a “European Collective Mental Space of Reference” [Schütze, 2011] as created in cross-border and cross-cultural communication and cooperation. The paper delineates this collective phenomenon of mental space as defined through structures of opportunity for mobility and encountering diversity of cultures and ways of life, through frames of reference orienting and affecting processes of learning and mutual understanding across borders and boundaries, through occasions for comparison between differences, and new collective identification and changing feelings of belonging. The last chapter deals with unequal risks and chances for encountering the European mental space and beyond.
Artykuł przedstawia rezultaty projektu badawczego „Euroidentities – Tożsamości europejskie. Zastosowanie metod badań biograficznych w badaniach nad rozwojem tożsamości europejskiej” ( Na podstawie wywiadów biograficzno narracyjnych zebranych w siedmiu krajach opisany został proces europeizacji w codziennych praktykach tych, którzy w różny sposób wykorzystują oferowane przez UE struktury możliwości w zintegrowanej Europie. Chociaż obecnie zaobserwować można kryzys lojalności w instytucjonalnym wymiarze aktywności UE, badania nad perspektywą „oddolną” (bottom up) pokazują istnienie „europejskiej mentalnej przestrzeni odniesienia” [Schütze 2011] jako wytworzonej ponad granicami i kulturami sfery komunikacji i kooperacji. Fenomen przestrzeni mentalnej zdefiniowany jest tu jako struktury możliwości dla mobilności, konfrontacji z różnorodnością kulturową, możliwości porównywania odmienności, budowania nowych identyfikacji kolektywnych i zmian poczucia przynależności.
Physical description
  • University of Magdeburg, Germany
  • Federico II’ University, Naples, Italy
  • Federico II’ University, Naples, Italy
  • Federico II’ University, Naples, Italy
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Document Type
Publication order reference
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