• Europe - a default or a dream? European identity formation among Bulgarian and English children

      Slavtcheva-Petkova, Vera; Mihelj, Sabina; University of Chester ; Loughborough University (SAGE, 2012-11-21)
      This article examines the formation of European identity among children in two very different countries: the traditionally Eurosceptic United Kingdom and the enthusiastic EU newcomer, Bulgaria. The paper revisits existing debates about the relationships between European identity, knowledge and the political and historical context, paying particular attention to the meanings attached to Europe. It demonstrates that children who identify as European are more likely to see Europe in geographic terms, which facilitates the perception of the European identity as ‘default’. In contrast, children who refuse to describe themselves as European see Europe as an exclusive political entity, associated with high standards and distant elites. These perceptions are significantly more common among Bulgarian children, who often depict Europe as a dream, and perceive the European identity as an ideal they aspire to reach. The article also shows how ethnicity and the images of Europe influence the relationship between national and European identities.
    • ‘Half a loaf is better than none’: The framing of political and national identity in Welsh border newspapers in the aftermath of the Mold Riots, 1869-1870

      Roberts, Simon Gwyn; University of Chester (2014-07-21)
      The Mold Riots of 1869 came at a time of social and cultural upheaval throughout Wales. Several distinct contexts intersect, and this paper will attempt to synthesize and interpret them by analyzing archival coverage of the events in the local press. The period was a dynamic one for local newspapers across the UK, with Benson arguing that the English provincial press at the time was ‘less cautious, more calculating, and more sensationalist than much of the existing literature would lead one to suppose’. Welsh newspapers have, however, been hitherto largely ignored by that literature. This would seem to be something of an oversight, because Welsh identity became politicized for the first time in the 1860s. In the particular context of North-East Wales, where - as in many border regions - identity is contested, the coverage of the Mold Riots in the local press offers an instructive opportunity to examine early attempts to negotiate identity politics in what was already a mixed, semi-anglicised region in which questions of religion, language, class and loyalty were emerging as potentially divisive political issues. The paper will examine local newspapers’ rhetorical frames, in which audiences are encouraged to interpret events in ways sympathetic to the actions of the authorities. This paper sees the event as a pivotal example of changing interpretations of political and national identity in local newspapers with a cross-border remit.