The Links of Self-perception of Lithuanians to Place: Insights Based on the Data of European Values Surveys (1990–2017)
Keywords: place identity, place attachment, locality, globality, Eurointegration
AbstractWhat determines that we feel connected with certain places and attached to them, that we care for them and express warm feelings of belonging even when living far away from them for a long time? The answers to these questions inevitably lead to the fundamental issue of personal identity. The present article analyses one of the aspects of the place identity phenomenon, namely, the dynamics of the relationship of self-perception of Lithuanians with certain places. For this purpose, the latest data from the European Values Survey, completed at the end of 2017, and the data of previous waves of this survey are employed. They reveal that Lithuanians give priority to local areas (first of all, to their own city, to Lithuania, and somewhat less to their own region), meanwhile their identification with Europe and the whole world is not so strong. However, the empirical data confirm the theoretical assumption that local and global self-awareness cannot be opposed: the comparison of the strength of place identities in different socio-demographic groups and among respondents with different value orientations has shown that the boundaries of places important for a person’s self-awareness are intertwined in a very complex way.