Denmark won the 1992 championship. The team had qualified only after Yugoslavia was disqualified as a result of the breakup and warfare in the country. Eight national teams contested the finals tournament.
Also present at the tournament was the CIS national football team (Commonwealth of Independent States), representing the recently dissolved Soviet Union whose national team had qualified for the tournament. It was also the first major tournament at which the reunified Germany (who were beaten 2–0 by Denmark in the final) had competed.
A referendum on the Maastricht Treaty was held in Denmark on 2 June 1992. It was rejected by 50.7% of voters with a turnout of 83.1%. The rejection was considered somewhat of a blow to the process of European integration, although the process continued. The result of the referendum, along with the “petit oui” in the French Maastricht referendum are considered to be signals of the end of the “permissive consensus” on European integration which had existed in most of continental Europe until then. From this point forward issues relating to European integration were subject to much greater scrutiny across much of Europe, and overt euroscepticism gained prominence. Only France, Denmark and Ireland held referendums on Maastricht ratification.
As the Maastricht Treaty could only come into effect if all members of the European Union ratified it, the Edinburgh Agreement, negotiated in the months following the referendum, provided Denmark with four exceptions which eventually led to Denmark ratifying the Maastricht Treaty in a 1993 referendum.
Group cohesiveness (also called group cohesion and social cohesion) arises when bonds link members of a social group to one another and to the group as a whole. Although cohesion is a multi-faceted process, it can be broken down into four main components: social relations, task relations, perceived unity, and emotions. Members of strongly cohesive groups are more inclined to participate readily and to stay with the group.
The bonds that link group members to one another and to their group as a whole are not believed to develop spontaneously. Over the years, social scientists have explained the phenomenon of group cohesiveness in different ways. Some have suggested that cohesiveness among group members develops from a heightened sense of belonging, teamwork, interpersonal and group-level attraction.
Attraction, task commitment and group pride are also said to cause group cohesion. Each cause is expanded upon below.
Many theorists believe that group cohesion results from a deep sense of “we-ness”, or belonging to a group as a whole. By becoming enthusiastically involved in the efforts of the group and by recognizing the similarities that exist among group members, more cohesion is formed. Furthermore, group pride creates a sense of community that strengthens the bonds of unity that link group members to one another.
The forces that push group members together can be positive (group-based rewards) or negative (things lost upon leaving the group). The main factors that influence group cohesiveness are: members’ similarity, group size, entry difficulty, group success and external competition and threats. Often, these factors work through enhancing the identification of individuals with the group they belong to as well as their beliefs of how the group can fulfill their personal needs.
Similarity of group members has different influences on group cohesiveness depending on how to define this concept. Lott and Lott (1965) who refer to interpersonal attraction as group cohesiveness conducted an extensive review on the literature and found that individuals’ similarities in background (e.g., race, ethnicity, occupation, age), attitudes, values and personality traits have generally positive association with group cohesiveness.
On the other hand, from the perspective of social attraction as the basis of group cohesiveness, similarity among group members is the cue for individuals to categorize themselves and others into either an ingroup or outgroup. In this perspective, the more prototypical similarity individuals feel between themselves and other ingroup members, the stronger the group cohesiveness will be.
In addition, similar background makes it more likely that members share similar views on various issues, including group objectives, communication methods and the type of desired leadership. In general, higher agreement among members on group rules and norms results in greater trust and less dysfunctional conflict. This, in turn, strengthens both emotional and task cohesiveness.
Small groups are more cohesive than large groups. This is often caused by social loafing, a theory that says individual members of a group will actually put in less effort, because they believe other members will make up for the slack. It has been found that social loafing is eliminated when group members believe their individual performances are identifiable – much more the case in smaller groups.
People in cohesive groups experience better emotional adjustment. In particular, people experience less anxiety and tension. It was also found that people cope better with stress when they belong to a cohesive group.
One study showed that cohesion as task commitment can improve group decision making when the group is under stress than when it is not under stress. The study studied forty-six three-person teams, all of whom were faced with the task of selecting the best oil drilling sites based on information given to them. The study manipulated whether or not the teams had high cohesion or low cohesion and how urgent the task was to be done. The study found that teams with low cohesion and high urgency performed worse than teams with high cohesion and high urgency. This indicates that cohesion can improve group decision-making in times of stress.
Attachment theory has also asserted that adolescents with behavioral problems do not have close interpersonal relationships or have superficial ones. Many studies have found that an individual without close peer relationships are at a higher risk for emotional adjustment problems currently and later in life.
While people may experience better emotional in cohesive groups, they may also face many demands on their emotions, such as those that result from scapegoating and hostility.
According to the government-commissioned, State of the English Cities thematic reports, there are five different dimensions of social cohesion: material conditions, passive relationships, active relationships, solidarity, inclusion and equality.
- The report shows that material conditions are fundamental to social cohesion, particularly employment, income, health, education and housing. Relations between and within communities suffer when people lack work and endure hardship, debt, anxiety, low self-esteem, ill-health, poor skills and bad living conditions. These basic necessities of life are the foundations of a strong social fabric and important indicators of social progress.
- The second basic tenet of cohesion is social order, safety and freedom from fear, or “passive social relationships”. Tolerance and respect for other people, along with peace and security, are hallmarks of a stable and harmonious urban society.
- The third dimension refers to the positive interactions, exchanges and networks between individuals and communities, or “active social relationships”. Such contacts and connections are potential resources for places since they offer people and organisations mutual support, information, trust and credit of various kinds.
- The fourth dimension is about the extent of social inclusion or integration of people into the mainstream institutions of civil society. It also includes people’s sense of belonging to a city and the strength of shared experiences, identities and values between those from different backgrounds.
- Lastly, social equality refers to the level of fairness or disparity in access to opportunities or material circumstances, such as income, health or quality of life, or in future life chances.
On a societal level Albrekt Larsen defines social cohesion ‘as the belief—held by citizens in a given nation state—that they share a moral community, which enables them to trust each other’. In a comparative study of the US, UK, Sweden and Denmark he shows that the perceived trustworthiness of fellow citizens is strongly influenced by the level of social inequality and how ‘poor’ and ‘middle classes’ are represented in the mass media.