Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 10 Issue 5 (September/October 2000), Pages 343-431

Memberships in a superordinate level: re‐thinking European Union as a multi‐national society (pages 403-420)


This paper attempts to understand how people give meaning to the social categories they belong to in the context of superordinate group formation. The context of investigation is the European Integration. Participants were Greek and French nationals aged between 28 and 50. First, the lay theories within which the social categories acquire their meaning were investigated through the analysis of qualitative data. 37 open‐ended interviews (19 French, 18 Greek participants) were analysed using an interpretative phenomenological approach (Smith et al., 1999). Second, a questionnaire type study investigated the perception of the status‐position of each national group (n = 293, French 145, Greeks 148). It is argued that, within commonly shared theories about European integration, the status‐position of the subgroups guides the selection of elements upon which different representations of social categories are constructed. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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