European Myths

Emma C

I think that one of the myths surrounding European identity might buckle when faced with the challenge of colonialism and mass migration as the image of Europe being this ideal place to live and continent that we should look up to is broken. We can look at the issue of mass migration, as Stone mentions in their reading about how collective memory is used and how it differs based on who is invoking it. Many people compare the European mass migration issue to concentration camps. Collective memory is then invoked as all of Europe knows closely the history involved, but depending on who you are asking, some may agree or disagree with the statement. A survivor of concentration camps may have a different view than an everyday British citizen as they each remember the event/history differently.

The way in which populists reinforce European identity is through the idea of nation building and national identity. As mentioned in the POLITICO article, many far-right groups are gaining popularity in Europe as they are filling a gap that people are missing. They are using their theories and platform under the guise of rebuilding the greatness of said country and are working to debunk myths that are harming the national identity, when in reality these groups are more often than not, at the root of many of the problems themselves.

Dan Stone, “On Neighbours and Those Knocking at the Door: Holocaust Memory and Europe’s Refugee Crisis.” Patterns of Prejudice 52, no. 2/3 (May 2018): 231–43.

 QAnon Goes European       https://www.politico.eu/article/qanon-europe-coronavirus-protests/

One Reply to “European Myths”

  1. I agree, the Stone article’s resonated with me in the same respect of the image of Europe and the deficiencies it has as being the beacon of liberal values when faced with its not distant past and the sentiments of a large portion of the population still being right leaning. I think this is often swept under the rug but is more and more apparent as we have different conversations on migration, statues (ie. leaving them or taking them down), minorities, etc.

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