Research group 1

Belonging, Identity and Cohesion

Migration challenges democratic societies to define themselves. MIDEM therefore asks what understanding of identity and foreignness appears in different discourses of identity and belonging in European societies and how this affects social cohesion. In various national public spheres, but also at the European level, identity is discussed controversially - in many places, there has even been a boom in crisis discourses about belonging and foreignness in recent years. The project examines these crisis discourses in a comparative perspective as an expression of social and cultural attribution processes in which central images, values, and self-understandings of European societies are manifestly questioned or confirmed in a new form. The focus is not only on questions of migration, but on ideas of foreignness in general. The aim is to identify socio-cultural and political lines of division in Europe and to recognize and derive possibilities for promoting cohesion in pluralistic or migration societies. The results of the predominantly qualitative analyses are presented in individual case studies and comparative studies, each of which is devoted to selected countries and regions in Europe.

Main focus

  • Analyzing political and mass media debates on belonging and identity in selected European countries
  • Provision of country-specific expertise
  • Reporting about events of Europe-wide significance (e.g. national elections)
  • Transfer (e.g. participation in conferences, communication with the press)