interpretations of the social and cultural events that confront them. Moreover, in combination with their collective representations, their sense of belongingness, their ideas of their (collective) identity often differ widely. In some cases, these differences can
The social quality approach (SQA) can be considered as a specific collective representation that has the possibilities to be used as a policy instrument, thus as a method of social, cultural and economic change. The SQA contains important conditional factors: socioeconomic security, social cohesion, social inclusion and social empowerment. These factors seem to be in the first place objectives of social and economic change. In reference to the constructionalist factors, this article also analyses the specific nature of collective representations and their many variations. They are regarded as fundamental elements in social quality studies. In the last part, this study assesses the relevance of social quality studies and their usefulness in relation with various issues in a democratic society or in societies that are on the road towards a democratic future.
A Theoretical Approach
What are the myths of Europe? This article provides the conceptual framework through which this question may be approached. It begins by defining myth in such a way as to distinguish it from other forms of political symbolism and points to the distinction between cultural and political myths. From here, the relationship between mythical and historical narratives is analyzed via a study of how the main narrative cores through which Europeans have perceived themselves have worked in different periods and contexts as both. It concludes with a more detailed analysis of some of the icons that convey the myths of Europe.
Continuity and Change of (Post)Socialist Infrastructure
railroad impact its post-Soviet reconstruction program? What is the role of propaganda and myth about the BAM in mobilizing labor resources and shaping collective identities and emotions around BAM-1 and BAM-2? What can we learn about continuity and change
An Israeli Case
The article investigates the symbolic construction of the Galilee as a rural place, as portrayed by the websites of leisure resorts seeking urban middle-class customers. The article argues that the Galilee is constructed as a symbolic, post-rural place by them, and that this process expresses a change in the construction of rural place and place in general as well as collective identity in Jewish Israeli society. Data was obtained from marketing websites of 50 leisure resorts in the Galilee. Findings indicate that the post-rural Galilee is composed mainly of four symbolic universes: rural style and atmosphere, agriculture and country gourmet, the experience of nature, and authenticity of place. This construction of rural place represents the voice of the urban middle class in the dynamics of place and collective identity in Jewish Israeli society.
Local Legal Conceptions in Svan Villages, Georgia
Stéphane Voell, Natia Jalabadze, Lavrenti Janiashvili, and Elke Kamm
Traditional law continues to be relevant for the Svans (Georgians), who usually live in the highlands of the Caucasus, but who have also migrated to various parts of Georgia. To grasp its practice we draw on approaches in which its use is discussed as a strategy for '(re)asserting collective identities' (Benda-Beckmann) in order to enforce specific goals. But our research also shows another dimension of traditional law: more than in actual conflict resolutions, traditional law is found in narratives, that is in memories of how conflicts were resolved earlier and should be solved today. These stories, however, of how and when traditional law should be applied rarely correspond to lived reality. Drawing on Brubaker and Cooper, we argue that beside a rather instrumental motivated use of traditional law in asserting collective identities, its contemporary practice can only be fully understood if we also acknowledge its non-instrumental practice.
Italian mobility history studies have seen remarkable developments since this journal published a first report on the topic in 2009.1 A review of main trends in Italian mobility studies since then reveals innovative developments opening new fields of investigation, with uneven but altogether appealing results, achieved not only by academic researchers but also by enthusiasts and journalists. Three themes are particularly discernible: mobility history and collective identity, denunciation of deficient transport system management, and a renewed attention
to business history.
A Welfare State?
This article introduces the four components of social quality from the British perspective. The main issue that this article highlights is the difference between British and European social understandings of inclusion and social policy. Development of theory around the subject matter of the four components as equal sectors of social quality could help to progress the British agenda closer towards Europe to relate the individual and the community to the formation of collective identity.
Books and Films
Kamyar Abdi and Soheila Shahshahani
Davis, Eric (2005), Memories of State: Politics, History, and Collective Identity in Modern Iraq (Berkeley: University of California Press). 398 pages, 19 figs. ISBN:0-520-23546-0. US$27.50.
Trafton, Scott (2004), Egypt Land: Race and Nineteenth-Century American Egyptomania (Durham and London: Duke University Press). 367 pages, figs, illstrns. ISBN 0-8223-3362-7. US $23.95.
Osku’yi, Mehrdad (2000) The Widower (21 minutes), (2000) My Mother’s Home: Lagoon (32 minutes), (2003) Beyond the Burqa (52 minutes), Young Iranian Cinema Society.
Articulation of Political Subjectivities among Workers
The article examines the political mobilisation and construction of modern political identities among workers during the 1905-1907 Revolution in the Kingdom of Poland. Political process, creation and alternation of the political subjectivities of workers are explained in terms of hegemonic articulations as presented by the political discourse theory of Ernesto Laclau. While social claims merged with resistance against the national oppression of the Tsarist regime and the struggle for social and political recognition, political subjectivities took various contingent and competitive forms; thus the same demands could be integrated into different political narratives and collective identities. Combining discourse theory and process tracing makes alternations of the political field in time intelligible.