THE SHAPE OF IDENTITY – part 3

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As previously explained, the EU created a recategorized nation-type identity which aimed, among others, to help the integration of all members of the Union, invite to cooperation and decrease intergroup bias, by that increasing positive attitudes towards other groups. However, not all national groups feel equally attached to the European identity. One of the reasons why some of them may feel threatened by identifying with this identity lies in the threat to their distinctiveness. Eastern European countries are culturally different from the West, which created the Union in the first place. Their identification with the European identity may be perceived as complying with ‘their’ rules and losing the identity of one’s own group.

Another reason that can hinder the adoption of a superordinate identity is the attitude or belief of one (or both) group(s) that this superordinate category is supposed to bear the characteristics of their identity, that is, to portray their values and qualities. If the groups disagree about these aspects, they may find it hard to identify with the new category. The groups may also feel threatened by potential loss of their identity characteristics, such as Eastern European nations in the area of the EU. This may also be one of the reasons for the migrant crisis. It can even be heard among the spokespeople of the groups that articulate their feelings of threat that the migrants carry the islamisation of Europe with them, meaning that the new society would have to adopt their values and that they will not be integrated into our existing culture.

The right-wing parties that have been rising during the last two years in many European countries and gaining more power often manipulate with this fear of attack on identity. These groups, like Vox in Spain or AfD in Germany, are openly calling for stopping of immigration and ‘salvaging their nations from the claws of evil migrants who are taking over their resources, but also their culture’. Except, globalisation is inevitable and these manipulations damage the society as a whole. Where could this newly-risen toxic nationalism lead?

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