C&S SIGN lunchtime seminar series

Narratives of political identities: young Europeans (Professor Alistair Ross)

Date & time: 25th April 2018, 1-2pm

Location: C106, College Building, Middlesex University, London


<<Download session PowerPoint>>

Alistair Ross is the Jean Monnet Professor of Citizenship Education; Emeritus Professor London Metropolitan University

This paper will present aspects of my recent study of young Europeans’ constructions of their political identities (to be published later this year, Ross 2018).  This was a one-person qualitative study, conducted over several years, in which deliberative discussions were conducted with over 350 small groups of 12 to 20 year olds, in 29 different European countries, some 2000 people in total. Two particular foci were their sense of identity with their country and their identity with Europe.

The seminar will focus on four areas:

  • The nature of (political) ‘identities’ today: their kaleidoscopic nature, what identity narratives are constructed, the sources they draw on, and how these accounts are assembled and integrated with each other.
  • The problems and strengths of ‘deliberative discussions’ a way of generating qualitative data, comparing this to focus groups and interviews as well as more quantitative surveys, particularly in the area of analysing identities (drawing particularly on recent German advances in Gruppendiskussionsverfahren [Bohnsack 2000, Gugglberger et al 2015, Scheunpflug et al 2016])..
  • Issues in the recruitment of samples for study, in international and national studies, and whether ‘representativeness’ is possible or useful.
  • Particular results of the study around diversity, racism and intergenerational difference.

Bohnsack, Ralf (2000) Rekonstruktive Sozialforschung. Einführung in die Methodologie und Praxis qualitativer Forschung. Opladen: Leske and Budrich.

Gugglberger, Lisa, Michaela Adamowitsch,Friedrich Teutsch, Rosemarie Felder-Puig and Wolfgang Dür (2015) “The use of group discussions: a case study of learning about organisational characteristics of schools.”  International Journal of Social Research Methodology 18 (2): 127-143.

Scheunpflug, Annette, Susanne Krogull and Julia Franz (2016) “Understanding learning in world society: Qualitative reconstructive research in global learning and learning for sustainability.” International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning 7 (3): 6 – 23.

Ross, Alistair (2018) Finding Political Identities: Young People in a Changing Europe, Palgrave Macmillan .

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