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Article Dans Une Revue Glottotheory, International Journal of Theoretical Linguistics Année : 2009

Communicating European Values in Institutional Discourse: a Statistical Model for the Analysis of Citizens’ Perception of the EU

Maria Iannario
  • Fonction : Auteur

Résumé

In the light of today’s widespread deficit in civic participation and public endorsement, the European Union institutions are seeking ways to renew citizens’ support and consensus. Different communicative approaches are being adopted in institutional domains in order to foster a sense of allegiance to the Union and develop a new system of collective values that EU citizens can more easily identify with. Communication policies in the EU sphere increasingly involve the new media and the use of new technologies, which are not only employed to channel new identity-building strategies; they also reflect citizens’ new perception of Community institutions and the role they play in their daily life. In its ‘Internet strategy’, the European Commission3 stated that one of the objectives set by EUROPA, the official EU web site, was to “help create a sense of European community as a supplement to the national sphere” as well as to “allow people to express and exchange their views and opinions throughout Europe”. The study makes a comparative analysis of one of EUROPA’s main informative sections, “The EU at a Glance”, in its previous (2002) and current version (2009), with a view to investigating the way institutional and social changes are reflected in discursive practices (Fairclough 1992). In particular, the comparison highlights the emergence of new strategies adopted by the EU in promoting itself. It also focusses on the steady process of ‘neutralization’ of the identity values advocated at supranational level in order to gather consensus among citizens: the EU no longer appeal to its historical and cultural common heritage to legitimate its entity. Instead it is increasingly stressing the objective and tangible benefits that derive from EU membership and that the EU offers and ‘advertises’ as a real service-provider (e.g. better living standards, consumer rights, lower tariffs, higher mobility, etc.). The prioritization of these new values is demonstrated by means of a linguistic analysis, which unveils how these longitudinal changes are reflected in forms of linguistic realisation in the new online version of the web section under investigation (“The EU at a Glance”). The language analysis is complemented by a statistical study carried out by a model for qualitative assessment (D’Elia and Piccolo 2005; Piccolo 2006) which demonstrates how the discursive transformations in the web site directly respond to and reflect a real change in citizens’ vision and perception of EU values.
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Dates et versions

hal-01730756 , version 1 (13-03-2018)

Identifiants

  • HAL Id : hal-01730756 , version 1

Citer

Giuditta Caliendo, Maria Iannario. Communicating European Values in Institutional Discourse: a Statistical Model for the Analysis of Citizens’ Perception of the EU. Glottotheory, International Journal of Theoretical Linguistics, 2009, 2, pp.19-40. ⟨hal-01730756⟩
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