Emotional content of Bulgarian national identity: Historical origins and contemporary dimensions

Project Status

Director of studies: Prof. Nikolay Aretov, DSc.

The goal of this project is to examine the emotional content of Bulgarian national identity from different perspectives - historical, socio-cultural and socio-psychological. We will investigate the importance of group emotion (e.g. admiration, pride, shame, fear, (in)security, etc.) as a product (and generator) of social identity and social context, and as a mediator of social action and political participation. We will apply an integration of social identity theory (together with its developments), and of intergroup emotion theory.
Our main objectives are:

  1. To identify the emotional components of the Bulgarian national identity and how they relate to other key identities (personal, gender, religious, etc.) as well as to the process of European integration.
  2. To explore how the international comparative context affects both the character of the collective emotions and the salience of the national identities.
  3. To investigate how the audience to which identity is being exposed affects both the character of the collective emotions and the salience of the national identities.
  4. To demonstrate whether it is possible to deliberately produce certain shifts in some of the emotional components of the (Bulgarian) national identity.
  5. To investigate the interdependence between the occurrence in the society of internal (semi)structural cleavages and the strength and emotional "colouring" of the national identity.

The defined objectives will be realized by two types of activities: A) Explorative work: text materials investigation (archives, text books, literature) and field studies; B) Seminars, workshops and international conference.
The project will address: scientific community; teachers and students; general public; policy makers and journalists. We will organize: a) an international conference "Sites of Memory: Emotions and Passions", b) four seminars with foreign scholars, c) two workshops led by a foreign scholar, d) workshop with teachers. We also plan to publish a book, a series of articles in academic journals and newspapers, and a policy paper.