General Presentation

This project aims to understand what kind of social identity change is going on within European societies.

For policymaking, the analysis of social identity is highly valuable because the social identity moderates the impact of policies. And this is particularly true in times of crisis.

In particular, the project aims:

  1. to verify whether the symbolic universes grounding the social identity has undergone a major change within European societies, as a consequence of the socio-economic crisis;
  2. to draw strategic and methodological implications for policy-making from point A.

This project includes 4 core scientific work packages:

  1. Multilevel Analysis of the Symbolic Universes, aimed at mapping structurally and developmentally the systems of meaning (i.e. the symbolic universes) grounding the social identity;
  2. Case Studies for policies, aimed at see how different policies have been organized and how their impact might or might not have been moderated by the symbolic dynamics at stake;
  3. the results of this analysis will be transformed into abstract criteria, contextualised in 5 different European macro-Regions, discussed with stakeholders, opinions leaders, policy-makers and finally stored within the guidelines;
  4. finally, the guidelines will be validated in terms of pertinence, effectiveness and the feasibility criteria, through seminars with the policy makers, opinion leaders and stakeholders, belonging to national, European, international Agencies involved in the construction and implementation of policies. Also, focus groups will be organized in each cultural context in order to study the impact of context-specific criteria.

The purpose of this project is to understand what kind of social identity change is going on within European societies, and from this analysis to gather suggestions to improve the efficiency of policies operating in/for the sake of a post-crisis scenario.

To this end, the project pursues the following goals:

  1. To map the systems of meanings grounding the social identities in the different European societies.
  2. To analyze what different higher mental functions (e.g. way of feeling, thinking, planning; forms and processes of memory; logical structures of reasoning, locus of control) symbolic universes are associated with, and through what different forms of behavior and communication they are expressed in daily life circumstances;
  3. To estimate the relation of the symbolic universes with the socio-economical phenomena (e.g. forms of social behaviours, functioning of institutions, characteristics of communities, consumptions, economic activities).
  4. To verify whether a major change of the symbolic universes grounding the social identity has been occurring/has occurred;
  5. To analyze at what extent such a change is distributed in European local contexts, in connection with what socio-cultural (broadly speaking) conditions;
  6. To explore the repercussions of the change of the symbolic universes for some social objects, relevant to European cohesion (e.g. solidarity, Europe, democracy; participation; social inclusion, sustainability, innovation);
  7. To understand the role played by the symbolic universes in mediating the impact of policies;
  8. To identify both general guidelines and context-specific, strategic and methodological guidelines for policy-making in post-crisis contexts, that are consistent with the symbolic universes at stake.
  9. To validate both general and context-specific guidelines in terms of relevance, effectiveness, feasibility as well as appropriateness to the symbolic universes.

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