Communities and others: Young peoples’ constructions of identities and citizenship in the Baltic countries
This article explores how young people (aged 12 -18) in the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are constructing their identities, particularly their sense of attachment to their country and to Europe. This generation is of particular significance, in that they are the first generation for many years to have been born and socialised in independent states that are in a relatively peaceful and stable state. Data was collected through 22 focus groups, conducted in 10 different locations in the different states, and were analysed in terms of the degree of enthusiasm expressed for civic institutions and cultural practices related to the country and to Europe. Two particular areas were identified: the sense of generational difference and the ways in which different groups created ‘other’ communities, within and without their country’s borders. These parameters allow us to distinguish the significant communities that these young people are creating in order to make sense of their social and political worlds.
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