Researchers discover what makes us feel European - and it's food

April 24th, 2014 in Other Sciences / Social Sciences
Food

Eating at a French bistro or listening to Portuguese fado are more reliable signs of feeling European than having lived abroad, the British Sociological Association's annual conference in Leeds heard today. [Thursday 24 April 2014]

Dr Laurie Hanquinet and Professor Mike Savage analysed on 6,016 people in the UK, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Romania and Spain to find out the characteristics of people who agreed with the statement 'I feel European'.

Dr Hanquinet, of the University of York, and Professor Savage, of the London School of Economics, found that characteristics most closely linked to feeling European were regularly buying items from other European countries, listening to European folk music, and eating European cuisine.

These were more likely to mark a person as feeling pro-European than having lived in another European country, or keeping in touch regularly with friends and family on the continent.

The preliminary statistical analysis found that, for example:

This contrasted with less significant factors, for example:

The researchers also found that men were more likely than women to feel European, and the level of education of interviewees had no effect.

"Our analysis suggests interesting and possibly counter-intuitive findings," said Dr Hanquinet.

"There are only limited effects of personal mobility on European identity, whereas we could have expected mobility to have a stronger impact.

"However, one's musical tastes, and purchasing of goods and favourite cuisine are all associated with a European identity, and indeed can be seen as the most powerful of the variables we examine.

"One of our most interesting findings is the muted effects of education, which somewhat contradicts previous studies which indicate that more well educated and higher class individuals are more pre-disposed to feel European."

Provided by British Sociological Association

"Researchers discover what makes us feel European - and it's food." April 24th, 2014. http://phys.org/news/2014-04-european-food.html