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Home // Research // FHSE // IDENT - Identités socio-culturelles et politiques identitaires au Luxembourg

IDENT - Identités socio-culturelles et politiques identitaires au Luxembourg

The project was completed in August 2010 and the website is no longer updated. But you can still find information about the project on this website and you will have access to the research findings via the final publication. (Information concerning the follow-up project can be found here.)

German version
IPSE – Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (Hg.): Doing Identity in Luxemburg. Subjektive Aneignungen – institutionelle Zuschreibungen – sozio-kulturelle Milieus. Bielefeld, transcript-Verlag, 2010, 304 p., ISBN 978-3-8376-1448-0 .


English version
IPSE – Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (Ed.): Doing Identity in Luxembourg. Subjective Appropriations – Institutional Attributions – Socio-Cultural Milieus. Bielefeld, transcript-Verlag, 2011, 298 p., ISBN 978-3-8376-1667-5 .


French version
IPSE – Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (Ed.): Construire des identités au Luxembourg. Appropriations subjectives – Projections institutionnelles – Milieux socio-culturels. Paris, Berg International, 2011, 320 p., ISBN 978-2-917191-44-6 .


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An interdisciplinary project of the IPSE Research Unit (Identités. Politiques, Société, Espaces), IDENT is funded by the University of Luxembourg and running over a three-year period (2007-2010).

Individual and collective identity patterns are considered constitutive elements of communities and they substantially contribute to social cohesion. The aim of this project is to explore some specific facets of identity construction processes in Luxembourg from an interdisciplinary perspective.

To achieve this aim, we are focusing on the articulation and interaction of attributed identities on the one hand, and appropriated identities on the other hand.

  • Articulated identities are forms of identity produced and disseminated through various political and/or media discourses.
  • Appropriated identities are the ‘lived’ identity patterns that occur in selected socio-cultural milieus of Luxembourgish society.
  • Special attention is given to the processes of identity construction, as well as to the interdependencies between the attribution and appropriation processes of the plural identities described above.

The divergences between attributed and appropriated identities reveal more than the disconnection of civil society and hegemonic identity politics: they also provide explanations for more fundamental socio-political deficits in the Grand Duchy. Our approach is non-essentialist and involves an understanding of identity as dynamic. This allows for an analysis of identity as being both the result and a constituent of social constructions of reality. For this purpose, we rely on a broad array of quantitative and qualitative research methods used in cultural studies and social sciences.


The society of the Grand Duchy is a particularly rewarding terrain for such a study. The multilingual context as well as the immigration-related cultural diversity, for instance, create manifold linguistic and cultural identity patterns. Furthermore, the hegemonic identity discourses in Luxembourg are, to a relatively high degree, influenced by (greater) regional and international elements. This can be accounted for by historical aspects and the geographic location as well as the economic and political developments of the post-war era. The latter, for instance, have transformed the microstate into both a first rank banking center and one of Europe’s three capitals. From an empirical and methodological perspective, the ‘smallness’ of the Grand Duchy offers an interesting study area that, in some respect, resembles a laboratory situation.