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Abstract

In this paper we discuss inclusiveness of identification among farmers in Galicia (Spain) and The Netherlands. Identification with three nested categories—farmers in the local community, farmers in the country, and farmers in Europe was assessed among 167 Dutch and 248 Galician farmers at three points in time: winter of 1993/94, winter 1995 and fall 1995. Our findings suggest that inclusiveness reduces the level of identification. However, the observed patterns of identification were more complex than inclusiveness per se can account for. Borrowing from the common ingroup-identity model, functional and socialization models of identity formation, and a model of politicized collective identity we formulated hypotheses about patterns of identification that were to be expected. On the whole our findings supported our theoretical reasoning. Galician farmers appear to identify much less with farmers in their country and Europe than Dutch farmers do. Inclusiveness of identification appears to be linked to experience with national and supranational political institutions. More political knowledge and involvement appear to generate more inclusive patterns of identification. Among Galician farmers evaluation of the agricultural policy of the European Union is negatively related to identification with farmers in Europe, among Dutch farmers the two are positively related. Finally, more inclusive identities seem to be more politicized. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.