Conceptual and methodological challenges in the study of European socialization

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Series Details Vol.17, No.6, August 2010, p909-920
Publication Date August 2010
ISSN 1350-1763
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Abstract: Socialization is an important concept in contemporary empirical studies on European integration and politics. However, the existing empirical research differs substantially in terms of research design, operationalization and measurement as well as analytical categories. Yet, despite these divergences, some relevant conclusions can be drawn from this somewhat disparate literature, conclusions which nuance the view of the European arena as a key socialization site. This essay offers a critical assessment of the socialization literature and aims to identify some fruitful avenues for future research. It argues that socialization research faces conceptual and methodological challenges with regard to process-product ambiguity, the notion of internalization and the temporal nature of socialization processes.

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