Conclusion: The Contested Communicative Construction of Europe
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In this conclusion, we will now tie the overall argumentation together. We present some general reflections on the present status of what we have called the communicative construction of Europe. Europe signifies the emergent European society with the EU as its political institution. As shown in chapter 2, we do not want to reduce Europe and the EU to a semiotic phenomenon by emphasising the aspect of communicative construction. By contrast, communicative construction has to be understood as one aspect of a multidimensional process of social construction. It is however a highly important aspect: When it comes to making sense and constructing the meaning of Europe and the EU, this is articulated in communication processes. We have shown the patterns of these processes through our long-term empirical research, combining a variety of social science methods at different levels of analysis: newspaper analysis over 30 years, newsroom studies, an analysis of online interaction in internet forums and audience studies. This research involves six countries studied with a transcultural perspective: Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom.
KeywordsPublic Sphere Political Institution Political Discourse Online Forum European Culture
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