How Our Collective Representations Affect the Future of the European Union

in The International Journal of Social Quality
View More View Less
  • 1 Erasmus University jan.berting@sfr.fr
Restricted access

Abstract

Differences between various groups and classes in perceptions of social reality result in different interpretations of social and cultural events—collective representations—which can cause opposition and conflicts among social groups. This contribution analyzes this complex problem, especially in relation to two pivotal concepts: individualism and collectivism. In most political discussions, these concepts are used in opposition to each other, even though they are always interdependent. Moreover, in a modern society we can distinguish between seven types of individualism and six types of collectivism. Finally, this analysis of collective representations is connected with questions related to the present problems confronting the European Union (EU). With the introduction of the concepts of collective representation, collective identity, and the opposition between individualism and collectivism, we have paved our way toward an efficient debate about the future of the EU.

Contributor Notes

Jan Berting has been Professor of General Sociology and Methodology at the University of Amsterdam and Professor in Theoretical Sociology at the State University of Groningen. He has also held a professorship at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam (Sociology and History of Sociology). He was dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences during three periods. He was chairman of SISWO, Universities’ Joint Institute for Co-ordination of Research in the Social Sciences at Amsterdam, and chairman of the Dutch Sociological and Anthropological Association. Since 1995, He has lived in Marseille-Port Frioul, France, a new situation that adds to his European experience.

The International Journal of Social Quality

(formerly The European Journal of Social Quality)

  • Benda-Beckmann, Keebet von, and Michael Verkuyten. “Introduction: Cultural Identity and Development in Europe.” In Nationalism, Ethnicity and Cultural Identity, ed. Benda von-Beckmann, K, and M. Verkuyten, (524) Utrecht: Utrecht University. 1995.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Benedict, R. 1934. Patterns of Culture. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

  • Berting, J. 2006. Europe: A Heritage, a Challenge, a Promise. Delft: Eburon.

  • Berting, J. 2010. How to Escape from the Diabolic Triangle? Followed by a Short Analysis of Some Other Collective Delusions. Delft: Eburon,

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Berting, J. 2012a. Shadows on the Cave’s Wall: How to Ameliorate Our Social Understanding of the World We Live In. Aubagne: Autres Talents.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Berting, J. 2012b. “The Social Quality Approach in a Pluralist World.” International Journal of Social Quality 2(1): 422.

  • Dumont, L. 1983. Essais sur l’individualisme: Une perspective anthropologique sur l’idéologie moderne. Paris: Editions du Seuil.

  • Erikson, E.H. 1968. “Identity, Psychosocial.” In International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, vol. 7, ed. D.L. Sills, 6165. London and New York. Macmillan and Free Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Evans-Pritchard, E.E. 1951. Kinship and Marriage among the Nuer. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  • Firth, R. 1936. We, the Tikopia: A Sociological Study of Kinship in Primitive Polynesia. London: Allen and Unwin.

  • Jodelet, D. 1989. “Représentations sociales: Un domaine en expansion.” In Les représentations sociales, ed. D. Jodelet, 3653. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kluckhohn, C. 1962. “The Concept of Culture.” Culture and Behavior, 1973. New York: Free Press of Glencoe.

  • Lewis, R.C. 1996. When Cultures Collide Managing Successfully across Cultures. London: Nicholas Brealey.

  • Malinowski, B. 1921. Argonauts of the Western Pacific. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

  • Malinowski, B. (1926) 1951. Crime and Custom in Savage Society. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

  • Ollivier, B., ed. 2009. Les identités collectives à l’heure de la mondialisation. Paris: CNRS Editions.

  • Roosens, E. 1995. “Ethnicity as a Creation: Some Theoretical Reflections.” In Nationalism, Ethnicity and Cultural Identity, ed. Benda von-Beckmann, K, and M. Verkuyten, 2646. Utrecht: Utrecht University.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shapiro, I. 2005. The Flight from Reality in the Human Sciences. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Tylor, E.B. 1891. Primitive Culture. London.

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 38 38 9
Full Text Views 4 4 0
PDF Downloads 2 2 0