Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

The construction, development and use of the concept of "Europe" in Slovenian media from 1954 to present

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.06.00  Humanities  Culturology   

Code Science Field
H004  Humanities  Philology 
Europe, Europeanness, European values, critical discourse analysis, media discourse, public sphere, Slovenian media
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (4)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  30023  PhD Primož Krašovec  Sociology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  340 
2.  14015  PhD Valerija Vendramin  Anthropology  Researcher  2008  283 
3.  05737  PhD Igor Žagar Žnidaršič  Culturology  Head  2008 - 2011  949 
4.  24441  PhD Janja Žmavc  Linguistics  Researcher  2009 - 2011  313 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0553  Educational Research Institute  Ljubljana  5051614000  6,968 
The research project THE CONSTRUCTION, DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF THE CONCEPT OF "EUROPE" IN SLOVENE MEDIA FROM 1954 TO PRESENT is an innovative theoretical and empirical contribution to the study of the Slovene (and indirectly) European public sphere - it will shed light on different conceptions of Europe as developed by Slovene media in the framework of the analysis of media coverage in Slovenia. We will analyse the texts and hereby research how the ideas about Europe and European values were constructed in Slovene media (in a limited timescale). We will try to answer the question in which social circumstances and which occasions the concepts of Europe, "Europeanness" and "European values" appear in the Slovene media coverage, how they are conceptualized and how (if at all) they are changing. The project will try to touch upon the question of what was the role of of international social and political events in this context. The research will be limited - due to the (over)abundance of materials - above all to printed media. It will attempt at least to touch upon electronic media via the Slovene language corpuses. The material will be quantitatively processed (by tools of corpus linguistics and data-mining) and qualitatively (above all with method of rhetorical analysis and critical discourse analysis). On the other hand, we will try to establish how possibly different conceptions of Europe (the ideas about Europe and European values as found in Slovene media) were shown in Slovene primary school textbooks for history, geography and, more recently, civic education and ethics.
Significance for science
The importance of the project for development of discipline primarily lies in connecting historical and sociological research with discourse studies, which is often separated, whereas we ourselves treated these as indivisibly connected and conditioned by one another. We therefore dealt with discourse as a social practice that is historically defined and with history as something that is mediated and constructed through discourse. This also involves an area of Slovenian research in which CDA had not yet been applied and thus represents pioneering studies using this methodology. The findings of the study, brought together in articles and volumes, represent material for university instructors that deal with the intersection of discursive and social issues and is good study material that has gathered together the basic concepts and methods of CDA together with its concrete application to the case studies, which is useful for researchers in discourse theory, linguistics, history, sociology, political science, political economy, cultural studies, and communication studies. The second part of the project, the analysis of the notion of Europe in the Slovenian primary school textbooks includes perspectives related to the various scientific fields. Our research of the notion of Europe in the educational context presupposes interdisciplinary approach. On the one hand, we shed light on the educational field as a specific area where conceptions of “Europe”, “Europeanness” and “European values” are shaped as educational topics in realtion to the demands of curriculum and didactic. On the other hand, the analysis revealed that the conceptions of Europe, as found in the textbooks, are changeable and to the great extent depend on the different social mechanisms (which were already defined in the primary survey of the Slovenian media report on Europe). The third important perspective in the context of the scientific contribution is represented by the methodological field, which combines methods of quantitative and qualitative analysis and represents a framework for the research of discursive constructions of meaning of Europe. It is mainly based on the concepts of linguistic pragmatics and it attempts to expose the generation of meaning as a dynamic process with a continuous mutual calibration of the explicit and the implicit in the context of social relations.
Significance for the country
The project deals with a topic that is currently very topical for Slovenia’s development: the operation of the concept of Europe in contemporary and historical media and political discourses. The scholarly volumes that were produced as part of the project were written in a style that is accessible to general readers; they will assist the broad intellectual community in shaping standpoints regarding Europe, the EU, and European politics as well as in understanding European social, political, and intellectual history. Through talks by experts from Slovenia and elsewhere in Europe, the project’s concluding conference raised a number of important questions about the directions of European social and economic development and about current European politics, and it also offered inspiring explanations of their historical trajectories. The analyzes of past crises and the shifts of basic concepts or the European values that accompanied them could also be of use to politicians and to professionals that participate in shaping Slovenian politics today, especially considering the fact that the present time is also one of these crises in which there is a redefinition underway regarding basic European values (social equality alongside discussions about competing pressures of globalization, democracy along with the issue of the “democratic deficit,” peace along with new security threats, etc.). The analyzes of the historical results of various methods used to solve similar past crises can serve as a political inspiration or a historical reminder or caution, and at the same time the analyzes of the history of European discourse and discourses about Europe make possible greater breadth and depth for contemporary political discussions. On the other hand, the analysis of the textbook material provides a critical view of a discursive construction of the notion of Europe in the context of primary school education for the period of the last 15 years. Such a discursive construction, as a part of educational discourse, plays an important part in the formation of the self evident background knowledge. Since the problematization of the latter still remains more or less overlooked, our results provide useful starting points for a critical discussion on textbook materials in the primary school and enable further critical analysis of other notions, ideas and concepts that can be found in textbooks. Direct results of our analysis will, on the one hand, help Slovenia (particularly the planners of educational politics and writers of textbooks) to be able to word in clearer and less problematic manner “the European topics”. On the other hand, it will help Slovenian teachers to be able to critically treat educational topics that refer to “Europe” “Europeanness” and “European values”.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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