Symbolic universes between present and future of Europe: First results of the map of European societies’ cultural milieu

Sergio Salvatore, Viviana Fini, Terri Mannarini, Giuseppe Alessandro Veltri, Evrinomi Avdi, Fiorella Battaglia, Jorge Castro-Tejerina, Enrico Ciavolino, Marco Cremaschi, Irini Kadianaki, Nikita Kharlamov, Anna Krasteva, Katrin Kullasepp, Anastassios Matsopoulos, Claudia Meschiari, Piergiorgio Mossi, Polivios Psinas, Rozlyn Redd, Alessia Rochira, Alfonso SantarpiaGordon Sammut, Jaan Valsiner, Antonella Valmorbida, Re.Cri.Re. Consortium

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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.
Translated title of the contributionSymboliske universer imellem Europas nutid og fremtid: De første resultater fra kortet over det europæiske samfundenes kulturmiljø
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0189885
JournalP L o S One
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)e0189885
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • culture
  • Europe
  • semiotics
  • Italy
  • behavior
  • Estonia
  • Greece
  • social systems
  • Models, Psychological
  • Forecasting
  • Culture
  • Cluster Analysis


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