The development of the concept of European Identity in European Youth Research
Department of Border Region Studies University of Southern Denmark Sønderborg, Denmark
The concept of European identity has had a humble position, but none the less a long-term viability in the youth research. It has on one side been set aside by more strong-lived research agendas from the national oriented sociological and cultural research or on the other by the study of the development of the reception of globalised culture and global trends among youth.
The research in the development of European identity among young people has been tracing the development of mental territorial conceptions that correspond with the trans-national mobilities of young people. A strong interplay with the effort of EU to further European integration and unification may not be neglected, but the research shows a wide variability.
The paper will critical examine the efforts to research European identity among young people within the reflexive frame of critical sociological theory of space and identity. It will evaluate both theoretical concepts and empirical research strategies. Finally, the discussion will be contrasted by reflections upon the possibility of developing a true cosmopolitan approach to young people's spatial identities.