28 March 2019

Major EU grant for research on collective identity

EU grant

The ERC has awarded Professor Dan Zahavi from University of Copenhagen an Advanced Grant of €2.4 million for the research project “Who are we”, which will examine what it means to feel, think and act as a group - as a we.

Photo: University of Copenhagen
Professor Dan Zahavi. Photo: University of Copenhagen.
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We can enjoy a concert together, solve a task, reach a decision or make plans for the future, and we can share attitudes, emotions, traditions and even a common identity. But how is this possible? What does it mean to feel, think and act as part of a group - as a we? This is the main research question that Professor Dan Zahavi from the Centre for Subjectivity Research will answer with the project Who are we?, which the European Research Council has awarded an Advanced Grant of €2.4 million.

“Given the recent upsurge of nationalism and identity politics, and given the repeated insistence on the importance of social cohesion and the increasing focus on the difference between ‘us’ and ‘them’, it is essential to gain an understanding of what it means to be part of a larger we. What kind of social understanding does this require, and what is the relation between the individual and the group, between self-identity and group identity? Professor Dan Zahavi asks.

Dan Zahavi’s research project, which bears the full title "Who are we? Self-identity, Social Cognition, and Collective Intentionality", includes six other researchers who will develop a systematic description of the complex relations between the group and the individual and thus contribute to an understanding of some of the foundational issues within the humanities and social sciences.

The project is, at its core, philosophical, but will include collaborations with researchers within disciplines such as developmental psychology, social psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

"Who are we? Self-identity, Social Cognition, and Collective Intentionality" is a five-year project and will be based at the Centre for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen.


Professor Dan Zahavi
Centre for Subjectivity Research
University of Copenhagen
E-mail: zahavi@hum.ku.dk
Mobile: +45 27 62 19 43