Browsing by Subject "collective identity"

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  • Wallgren, Tuija (2002)
    This study explores social constructivism as meta theory, and asks how it can be applied in studying the European Union (EU). The so called rationalist theories are often claimed to be insufficient in trying to account for the European integration. Thomas Banchoff has argued that social constructivist claims concerning the EU can be proved persuasive by using rigorous empirical research. He has created a two step analytical framework to show how state identity affects state action and successfully applied it to the German case. In this thesis his framework is applied to the Finnish EU policies in the 1990's. First part of the study defines social constructivism. The definition here is rather broad, based on the central ontological and epistemological presuppositions characteristic to social constructivism. The role of social constructivist meta theory in both foreign policy studies and in integration theories is discussed. The concept of collective identity and its relationship with interest formation are also touched upon here. The second part consists of the empirical analysis of the Finnish case. The analysis is carried out in two steps; first defining the important features of Finnish foreign policy identity, and then studying how this identity appeared in the official foreign policy discourse and decisions during the 1990's. In this study the impact of state identity on state action was not clear. The findings seem to indicate that the Finnish state identity was transformed to fit the state action, rather than action being influenced by identity. In light of these findings social constructivism cannot be proved persuasive by applying Banchoff's framework to the Finnish case. However, the depicted transformation of Finnish identity shows that important dynamics between identity and interest formation exist. Moreover, the findings indicate that the way Finnish EU decisions were made may have been facilitated by identity based political culture, making causalities run both ways. The source material of the thesis consists mainly of academic literature dealing with social constructivism, European studies and Finland's EU policies. Speeches made by Finnish presidents during the 1990's have been used as primary sources.
  • Sipilä, Arlinda (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Corporate communications and management have had for a long time the conviction that they could project a specific brand identity by communicating a strong vision. Today this view is being challenged, especially with the rise of social media, which has brought more visibility to customer communities and has enabled better tools for customers to communicate with each other instantly, anywhere in the world. People interacting with each other in their communities give an identity to the brands, a collective identity that can be different from the one that corporate communications try to project. It is, therefore, necessary for the brands to understand how customers collectively impact brand identity. The concepts of top-down brand identity models do not work very well in today’s interconnected world. With that in mind, this thesis looks at a bottom-up approach to the brand identity model. It aims to bring further attention to the impact that brand communities have on brand identity. Through a model for collective brand identity, the objective is to make it easier for brands to see their brand identity from a customers’ perspective and enable them to envision their future collective identities. This thesis is conducted as qualitative research including a model, case studies and interviews looking into the brand identity as a collective construction. It initially looks into existing research on collective identity in general as well as in brands. Then, it discusses existing models for brand identity and social movements. Based on the insight from the literature, this study attempts to formulate a model for collective brand identity. It uses the case studies as illustrations and proof of concept for the model. Lastly, four in-depth interviews are conducted to explore further how the model can be applied in real-life in order to study and categorise brands based on their collective identity. This research identifies four main types of collective identity in brands based on the community characteristics and personal sense of belonging, which is, how individual identities relate to that of the brand. These brand types are Influencer, Collaborative, Collective and Outlier. In general, the more collective the brand communities are, the more substantial impact they have on the band’s identity and the higher the sense of belonging to their communities, the more loyal customers they are.
  • Birindelli, Pierluca (2019)
    This article analyses literary sources that have influenced interpretations of the Italian collective identity, focusing on the conceptual pairing ‘familism-particularism’. In 1958 Edward Banfield coined the term ‘amoral familism’, generating an intense, persistent debate among Italian and foreign scholars. However, by expanding the analytical focus, similar explanations for Italian social, economic and political ‘backwardness’ can be traced much further back: to Alberti’s ‘land of self-interest’ or Guicciardini’s particulare. Representations of the cultural absence of civicness in Italy developed over the centuries, stemming initially from Italians’ own recognition of their self-image. It was only later, through the diaries of travellers on the Grand Tour, that this image was incorporated into the hetero-recognition of Italians by Northern Europeans and North Americans. When an identity feature maintains this ‘dual recognition’ for such a long historical period, it becomes a recurrent cardinal point in individual and collective representation of a people. Attempts to sustain theories conflicting with Banfield’s are confronted by other obstacles: the absence of comparable ethnographic studies translated into English and the rhetorical force of the expression ‘amoral familism’. The symbolic power of Banfield’s interpretation, which might be considered a stereotype, goes beyond its (in)ability to reflect social reality.
  • Uljas, Laila Irene (2007)
    The Estonian national and collective identity is heavily affected by a history of foreign intrusion and occupation. During the Soviet era a large population of Russian-speaking immigrants migrated to Estonia in hope of a better life. Now after independence, there has been tension and difficulty in creating a collective identity, which encompasses both the ethnic Estonians and Russian-speaking minority. My research shows that there are three main challenges that are present in the Estonian society. The three issues that need to be addressed are the citizen and language issue, the self-confidence and identity of the Estonians and the restructuring of civil society which has been weak after independence. These challenges are also the keys to a realistic model of solution which includes creating a stronger civil society that allows both ethnic Estonians and the Russian-speaking minority to participate in. My research shows that language is a very important part of Estonian identity and part of the barrier that exists between the two groups. Resolving the language issue and boosting the Estonian identity would improve joint participation in the civil society. This in turn would reinforce self-confidence of both groups and help build their collective identity. These three key aspects offer an avenue for helping the two groups live together, and not separately. The EU brings new perspectives to the issue, adding a new layer of identity but meanwhile also strengthening the Estonian identity. It allows Estonia to clearly belong to the west, cutting its umbilical cord with Russia.