Constructing Common Identity in a Time of Change: The Evolution of Online Public Discourses on European Identity in Italy

Friday, July 14, 2017
WMB - Hugh Fraser Seminar Room 2 (University of Glasgow)
Elizaveta Matveeva , World History and International Relations, Irkutsk State University
The paper discusses the results of research project that deals with the process of European identity formation in Italian online public sphere. It is based on application of political claims analysis methodology to the study of electronic media and other electronic resources.  At the first stage qualitative frame analysis is used to define different categories and types of statements on European identity made by actors involved in its discussion and promotion. Further quantitative analysis reveals forms of actions aimed at European identity construction, determines the relationship between different categories of actors, especially between international and domestic, collective and individual actors, and, finally, between “donors” and “supporters” group, on the one hand, and group of actors directly involved in identity creation through the claim-making or organizing (taking part in) events, on the other hand. It also stabilizes the correlation between different actor groups and various European identity frames/various forms of actions and mechanisms of EU/European identity promotion. In particular, this paper focuses on changes in actor groups’ involvement and the evolution of identity frames and action forms. The analysis of project data reveals that both financial and sovereign crises and migrant (refugee) crisis caused significant changes in perceptions of European identity in Italy. First of all these changes are related to the expansion of different forms of denying or bounding of European identity, as well as of plural European identities frame which is related to the establishment of a demarcation between Latin Mediterranian Europe and Germanic Mitteleuropa.