NETWORKED IDENTITIES: Changing representations of Europeanness

Lisa McEntee-Atalianis, Franco Zappettini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transnational dynamics have significantly changed established notions of communities and belonging. Transnational perspectives however remain marginal in research on European identities which has typically conceptualised the latter as emerging from and relying on essential national referents. Drawing on data derived from members of a transnational organisation promoting civic participation in Europe, this paper challenges existing representations of Europeanness by offering a new interpretive metaphor of networked identities. Findings suggest that through this schema members are able to construct and reimagine their belonging along axes that often bypass national identification. Identities are constructed along a spatial dimension that challenges a stable core –periphery or bounded logic, instead dynamically reorganising hierarchies and bringing to the fore individual agency, fluidity and creativity. In this context we argue, from an emic perspective, that the network metaphor represents a powerful referent for (re)imagining European identity as more dynamic, complex and processual than previously conceptualised
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-415
JournalCritical Discourse Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2014


  • European identity
  • metaphor
  • metaphor analysis
  • network
  • transnationalism

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