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Living Beyond the Nation

European Transnational Social Fields and Identifications

Tea Golob

The book provides key insights in experiencing lives and attitudes of the increasing number of people who reside beyond national boundaries and strategically create their life-paths. It is a brief but comprehensive introduction to the latest theoretical developments combining issues of reflexivity and habitus resulting in unique empirical and practical implications. Intended for the readers who are looking for a combination of scholarly insights and everyday life stories of the people living beyond the national constraints, no matter whether they are interested in contemporary social trends and their impact to individuals, ethnographic research, globalization trends or the future visions of the European Union.


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4. European social fields


We consider the European Union as a unique phenomenon of supranational governance containing a set of specifics, dilemmas and advantages. The Euro- pean Union was created as a response to global market competitiveness, a need for political stability and social integration. Its existence reflects the issues of democracy, regional developments and developmental performance of national societies in economic, social and cultural contexts (Adam et al. 2005). The pro- cesses of identification reveal the political actions of the Union, the role of vari- ous cultural and social politics, as well as different social processes taking place within a supranational entity influenced by both economic and other soft factors, such as social and cultural resources. The issues mentioned play an important role in both the micro and macro levels of the European Union. In order to present the phenomenon of European (transnational) identifica- tions in the most comprehensive manner, one should not neglect the origins of the concept of European identities, its political roots and cultural implications. In that regard, the notion of Europe comprising a geographical, political and cultural entity seems to be important. In political discourses, the legitimacy of the European Union is often referenced to as ‘Europe’, while the use of both en- tities overlaps in common usage. The complex semantic meanings of the word ‘Europe’ have inevitably led to confused perceptions of the European Union. The emergence of different perspectives initially began with the consideration of Eu- rope as a political entity in the sixteenth century in the...

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