Young people in Europe. Social capital, civicness and identity in the process of European integration

Starting date
January 1, 2012
Duration (months)
36
Departments
Culture and Civilisation
Managers or local contacts
Di Nicola Paola

7°Programma Quadro - Seventh Framework Programme

(Proposta di progetto in attesa di valutazione)

University of Verona
CRiS – Centre for Social Research
Collaborative project proposal under CORDIS – Seventh Framework Programme
2011 SSH – Socio-economic sciences and Humanities

Proposal full title: Young people in Europe. Social capital, civicness and identity in the process of European integration

The ability of young people to produce and re-produce relational goods (social capital) through civic engagement is a process that helps society to reproduce itself, creating a sense of ‘we’, as a wider community, and possibly as European. It is necessary to support this practice with the involvement of the society as a whole; if this effort will be not properly encouraged by educational agencies and other social and political institutions the risk for the nearly future is the building of secluded community composed of solitary individuals.
The main objective of this study is to identify the politics which facilitate (or not) the European integration among young generations, and consequently define principle and solutions in order to plan positive politics for this achievement.
Specific objective is to assess which factors have the greatest impact on civic participation of young generations, analyzing their social life, seen through the lens of civicness, voluntary activities, ethical consumption, lifestyles, mobility programmes (Erasmus), their perception of Europe building in the European countries and in the neighbouring regions (Turkey), using the social capital as key concept.
The empirical research is intended to measure the role that individual factors (age, sex, nationality, status, type of social capital) have on the civic commitment of young people.
The general assumption is that the behaviour of young generation is not the result of individual choices and options, but depends on the structural and relational spheres of belonging. Social networks that range from primary family networks to extend to the sphere of national citizenship.
By using the concept of social capital - in the sense of positive relationship that promotes the cohesion of kinship networks, community and school by promoting greater sense of belonging and civic engagement – the aim is to describe its function bonding (which focuses on thick relations and primary social networks strongly connected) and bridging (which focuses on wider relationships that promotes heterogeneous social networks), assuming that the first (bonding) promotes low level of civic engagement mainly displayed in the peer group, while the second (bridging) promotes more opportunities for a positive youth development outcome with meaningful consequence for a better comprehension and participation in the European integration.

This WP suggests a comparative research strategy, in order to gather statistical data on representative samples of national populations. The central aim is to create seven databases which allow to analyze the statistics on each specific WP, comparing the seven national populations.
The proposed survey is quantitative. It consists of seven separate national surveys, one for each country involved. In particular, the University of Verona unit will collect data in Italy, the University of Burgos unit in Spain, the Selcuk University unit in Turkey, the University of Bacau unit in Romania, the Kassel University unit in Germany, the Mikkeli University unit in Finland and the University of Brussels unit in Belgium.

Project participants

Michele Bertani
Research Scholarship Holders
Paola Di Nicola
Full Professor
Lorenzo Migliorati
Associate Professor
Domenico Secondulfo
Sandro Stanzani
Associate Professor
Luigi Tronca
Associate Professor

Activities

Research facilities