© 2019

Finding Political Identities

Young People in a Changing Europe

  • Contributes to scholarly fields such as identities, European citizenship and social constructionism

  • Uses a diverse, cross-national data set and longitudinal analysis

  • Offers a wide range of significant theoretical possibilities across a group of related disciplinary areas


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Alistair Ross
    Pages 1-43
  3. Alistair Ross
    Pages 45-95
  4. Alistair Ross
    Pages 97-152
  5. Alistair Ross
    Pages 183-229
  6. Alistair Ross
    Pages 231-275
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 295-366

About this book


This book explores how young people in Europe construct their political identities. Based on small discussion groups with 2000 young people across 29 European states, Alistair Ross explores how 13 to 20 year olds build identities in contemporary society, creating contingent narratives of local, national and European identities with families, friends and social media. As well as exploring what these kaleidoscopic identities look like and the sources they draw on, it also examined how these accounts are assembled and integrated with each other.

The study uses deliberative discussions to allow young people to develop their own constructs and terms in conversation with each other. This analysis presents a complex polyphonic of political beliefs and values of rights, which young Europeans attach to political structures and institutions that often transcend traditional boundaries of state and nation.

Finding Political Identities will be of interest to postgraduate students and academics across Education, Sociology, Politics and European Studies, especially those with a focus on Social Constructionism, Citizenship, Identity Studies, Social Policy, and Youth Studies. 


Social identity Generational differences regional identity national identity citizenship European studies

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.London Metropolitan UniversityLondonUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Alistair Ross is Emeritus Professor of Education, London Metropolitan University. He was awarded a Jean Monnet personal chair in Citizenship Education in Europe by the European Commission in 2009.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Finding Political Identities
  • Book Subtitle Young People in a Changing Europe
  • Authors Alistair Ross
  • Series Title Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-90874-8
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-08120-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-90875-5
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXV, 366
  • Number of Illustrations 5 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Political Sociology
    Sociology of Family, Youth and Aging
    European Politics
    Self and Identity
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This timely book is the result of a research project supported by the European Commission … . it is another call for attention to the importance of rethinking citizenship education in schools; and yet another reason to read this book for those scholars concerned about the democratic future of Europe.” (Marta Estellés, Education Review, March 6, 2019)