Ideological context and social representations of the European Union

Mihai Curelaru, Mioara Cristea, Ion Negură


The aim of this study was to explore and evaluate the impact of the context on the social representations of the European Union in two Eastern-European countries: Romania and the Republic of Moldavia. According to the SR theory, when analyzing the dynamics of social representations, one must take in consideration the discursive context (or situational) and the social context (Abric & Guimelli, 1998). In this study we tried to analyze the influence of the social (ideological–global) context derived, on one side, from an ideological factor (social norms, values) and, on the other side, from the social status of a person, their place in society, in groups (placing the individual in a social organisation, social stakes and, values). The participants (N=560) filled in a free task association (Verges, 1992; Abric, 1994) where the stimulus – word was ―European Union‖. The research was organised in two stages. The first stage took place in 2006 when Romania was preparing to be integrated into the European Union (January, 1st 2007) and, the Republic of Moldavia was governed by politicians who were against the process of European integration. The second stage took place in 2010, when Romania was, already integrated in the European Union and the Republic of Moldavia was governed by a pro-Europe coalition. In the first data collection we e had 260 subjects: 134 Romanians and 126 Moldavians. In
the second stage, we collected data from 300 subjects: 170 Romanians and 130 Moldavians. The statistical data such as the prototipicality technique (Verges, 1992) underlined the modifications induced by the three contextual variables: (the years of data collection, country, and linguistics affiliation for Moldavia) to the social representations of the European Union.

European Union, social representations, ideological context, dynamic representations

Mihai Curelaru – Al. I. Cuza University, Iaşi, Romania, E-mail:
Mioara Cristea – La Sapienza University, Italy, E-mail:
Ion Negură – Ion Creangă University, the Republic of Moldavia, E-mail:

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