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      Greedy Elites and Poor Lambs: How Young Europeans Remember the Great War

      * , a , b , , a , b , c , c , d , d , e , f , g , h , i , k , l , m , n , o ,   p , q , r , s , j , c , t , m , p , u , k , v , h , w , x , r , b , p , m , b , a
      Journal of Social and Political Psychology
      charter, Europe, history, social identity, social representations, WWI

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          The present study examines current social representations associated with the origins of the Great War, a major event that has profoundly affected Europe. A survey conducted in 20 European countries (N = 1906 students in social sciences) shows a high consensus: The outbreak of the war is attributed to the warring nations’ leaders while the responsibility of the populations is minimized. Building on the concept of social representation of history (Liu & Hilton, 2005), we suggest that the social representations of the Great War fulfill social psychological functions in contemporary Europe. We suggest that WWI may function as a charter for European integration. Their content also suggests a desire to distinguish a positively valued ingroup ("the people") from powerful elites, construed as an outgroup.

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          Most people are not WEIRD.

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            Notes towards a description of Social Representations

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              How the past weighs on the present: social representations of history and their role in identity politics.

              Socially shared representations of history have been important in creating, maintaining and changing a people's identity. Their management and negotiation are central to interethnic and international relations. We present a narrative framework to represent how collectively significant events become (selectively) incorporated in social representations that enable positioning of ethnic, national and supranational identities. This perspective creates diachronic (temporal) links between the functional (e.g. realistic conflict theory), social identity, and cognitive perspectives on intergroup relations. The charters embedded in these representations condition nations with similar interests to adopt different political stances in dealing with current events, and can influence the perceived stability and legitimacy of social orders. They are also instrumental in determining social identity strategies for reacting to negative social comparisons, and can influence the relationships between national and ethnic identities.

                Author and article information

                J Soc Polit Psych
                Journal of Social and Political Psychology
                J. Soc. Polit. Psych.
                08 February 2019
                : 7
                : 1
                : 52-75
                [a ] Université libre de Bruxelles , Brussels, Belgium
                [b ] Université catholique de Louvain , Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
                [c ] University of Salzburg , Salzburg, Austria
                [d ] University of Warsaw , Warsaw, Poland
                [e ] Universidad del País Vasco , San Sebastián, Spain
                [f ] Moscow State University of Psychology and Education , Moscow, Russia
                [g ] University of Erlangen-Nuremberg , Nuremberg, Germany
                [h ] Universidade do Minho , Braga, Portugal
                [i ] Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences , Athens, Greece
                [j ] Jacobs University , Bremen, Germany
                [k ] Hungarian Academy of Sciences , Budapest, Hungary
                [l ] Université Rennes 2 , Rennes, France
                [m ] Università degli Studi di Milano – Bicocca , Milan, Italy
                [n ] Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre , Paris, France
                [o ]Helmut-Schmidt-Universität, Hamburg, Germany
                [p ] Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar , Zagreb, Croatia
                [q ] Université de Toulouse II , Toulouse, France
                [r ] University of Oslo , Oslo, Norway
                [s ] Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Contemporary Society , Brussels, Belgium
                [t ]Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza din Iași, Iași, Romania
                [u ]University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
                [v ] Tallinn University , Tallinn, Estonia
                [w ] University of Helsinki , Helsinki, Finland
                [x ]University of Banja Luka, Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina
                [25]University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
                Author notes
                [* ]Institute for Psychological Science, Université catholique de Louvain, 10 Place Cardinal Mercier, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. p.bouchat@ 123456uclouvain.be

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 28 March 2017
                : 12 November 2018
                Self URI (journal-page): https://journals.psychopen.eu/
                Original Research Reports

                charter,WWI,social identity,history,Europe,social representations
                charter, WWI, social identity, history, Europe, social representations


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