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Salvatore, Sergio; Fini, Viviana; Mannarini, Terri; Veltri, Giuseppe Alessandro; Avdi, Evrinomi; Battaglia, Fiorella; Castro-Tejerina, Jörge; Ciavolino, Enrico; Cremaschi, Marco; Kadianaki, Irini; Kharlamov, Nikita A.; Krasteva, Anna; Kullasepp, Katrin; Matsopoulos, Anastassios; Meschiari, Claudia; Mossi, Piergiorgio; Psinas, Polivios; Redd, Rozlyn; Rochira, Alessia; Santarpia, Alfonso; Sammut, Gordon; Valsiner, Jaan; Valmorbida, Antonella (2018): Symbolic universes between present and future of Europe. First results of the map of European societies' cultural milieu.
In: PLOS One 13(1), e0189885


This paper reports the framework, method and main findings of an analysis of cultural milieus in 4 European countries (Estonia, Greece, Italy, and UK). The analysis is based on a questionnaire applied to a sample built through a two-step procedure of post-hoc random selection from a broader dataset based on an online survey. Responses to the questionnaire were subjected to multidimensional analysis-a combination of Multiple Correspondence Analysis and Cluster Analysis. We identified 5 symbolic universes, that correspond to basic, embodied, affect-laden, generalized worldviews. People in this study see the world as either a) an ordered universe;b) a matter of interpersonal bond;c) a caring society;d) consisting of a niche of belongingness;e) a hostile place (others' world). These symbolic universes were also interpreted as semiotic capital: they reflect the capacity of a place to foster social and civic development. Moreover, the distribution of the symbolic universes, and therefore social and civic engagement, is demonstrated to be variable across the 4 countries in the analysis. Finally, we develop a retrospective reconstruction of the distribution of symbolic universes as well as the interplay between their current state and past, present and future socio-institutional scenarios.