The Cultural Realm of European Integration: Social Representations in France, Spain, and the United Kingdom

The Cultural Realm of European Integration: Social Representations in France, Spain, and the United Kingdom

The Cultural Realm of European Integration: Social Representations in France, Spain, and the United Kingdom

The Cultural Realm of European Integration: Social Representations in France, Spain, and the United Kingdom

Synopsis

'Signs of the Times' reunites the poetry of Bud Osborn and the woodprints of Vancouver printmaker and painter Richard Tetrault. As with their first collaboration, 'Oppenheimer Park', 'Signs of the Times' is both an unflinching look at Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and a beautiful object in its own right."The linocut and woodcut prints that constitute half of the art of this volume are exquisite their elegance....This volume is the best value for your money you coulod ever hope as lovers of art, as lovers of people. It puts art into your sweaty hs&hands; it forces you to engage in the politics of humanity" -- Prairie Fire

Excerpt

It has been said that the European Union is a federation without a people. For most of its history, European integration was an elite-driven process, rather removed from the minds and hearts of ordinary citizens. But the method of integrating Europe in spite of, or because of, prevailing indifference has run its course. For one thing, as the European Union impinges more and more on their daily lives, people start to care about “Brussels.” And they don’t like all they see (or that is presented to them by their national media or politicians). Moreover, while the European Union’s biggest enlargement is under way to bring in countries of substantially lower economic levels and populations with historical memories not shared by the founding members of the Union, it is by no means clear that its institutions are up to the new situation.

It looks as if Europe’s political leaders have lost their sense of direction. At least in the Iraq crisis, the EU’s foreign policy was in total disarray, hampered by an almost complete lack of unity among its core members. The European Union is at a crossroads and no one knows for sure which way to go. It is therefore all the more important to comprehend popular perceptions of the European Union and the images its populations have for the future of the integration process.

We do have many surveys that give us a sense of people’s attitudes about the EU. But simple questionnaires are not enough to fathom people’s interpretation and representation of such a complex organization in the making as the European Union. Such an analysis has to take account of its description in the media, of the assertions of the elites, and, above all, the national context.

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