9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN07 Sociology of Culture

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Religious, National and European Identities Building II, C4.07

Conflicting Visions of the Cultural Identity of Europe in Romania

The paper discusses the issue of the new relationship between the national culture of a new member of the EU and the emerging European cultural identity. Modern Romanian thinkers have fervently debated the pro-European arguments in contrast with traditional views. Romania got off to a slow start in the modernization process, and the issue of its cultural identity has been intensely considered in relation to the European cultural model. This debate was taken up in the years of transition to democracy, when the identity discourses of intellectual and political actors started to be differentiated based on their attitude towards the nationalism of the former Communist regime and the perspective of our integration in Euro-Atlantic structures. Arguments in favor of integration have consolidated both the social and historical research and the pleadings to construct a convergent paradigm offering a key to understanding the national-European relationship, where the two dimensions of cultural identity are seen as complementary.
Our research then follows the identification of those solutions that political actors put forward in order to conciliate the tensions between the integration project and the loyalties of the community. At the core of the European project lies the attempt to harmonize conflicting tendencies: protecting cultural and linguistic diversity of Europe while building convergence of values and mentalities that would gather citizens and nations around common projects. To this end we are going to monitor the discourses on European-national relationship of political groups of the European Parliament and the parties and candidates from Romania during the Europarliamentary elections in June 2009. We believe that this comparative analysis is relevant for raising awareness of the confronting tendencies regarding the problematical relationship between national cultural identities and the long-term objectives of the European project. The results of the research and the qualitative analysis will be subsequently integrated into a broader project of our research team.