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European Identity in Switzerland: The Role of Intermarriage, Transnational Social Relations and Experiences

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2015
Author Schroedter Julia H., Rössel Jörg, Datler Georg,
Project Binationale Ehen als Indikator für die Entstehung einer europäischen Gesellschaft
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Volume (Issue) 662(1)
Page(s) 148 - 168
Title of proceedings The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
DOI 10.1177/0002716215595394

Abstract

We analyze the impact of intermarriage, and transnational social relations and experiences on the emergence of European identity. According to the structuralist theory of identification, European social relations, with European intermarriage as an especially important relation, and experiences should explain European identifications. Our analysis is based on a survey in Zurich, Switzerland, providing a broad array of data that allow testing the impact of a European partner on European identification for Swiss and how transnational social relations and experiences contribute to both Swiss and non-Swiss feeling European. Overall, we find that a partner from another European country (for Swiss natives) and transnational social relations and experiences have an important role in explaining European identification. The most important differences are between Swiss and EU citizens living in Switzerland where, for the latter, the meaning of Europe is differently constructed. Specifically, EU citizens see less conflict between national and European identification.
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