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Murray Stewart Leith and Duncan Sim

We use this chapter to explore the Scottish education system and its strengths and weaknesses. We also explore the current employment situation within Scotland and, using census and other data, describe the changing nature of employment as the country has increasingly moved from being dominated by heavy industry to being increasingly characterised by science, technology and businesses associated with the so-called ‘Silicon Glen’.

in Scotland
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Duncan McTavish

This chapter, contributed by the late Duncan McTavish, does not provide a detailed account of the Scottish political system, as there are other texts that do that in a more focused manner. But it illustrates and reflects on the way in which Scottish political culture has changed since devolution. It discusses the institutional, governmental and partisan structure of modern Scotland; the ‘movers and shakers’ within Scottish politics and the ways in which Scottish politics has diverged from politics elsewhere in the UK – particularly in relation to voting behaviour and key policy areas.

in Scotland
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The new state of an old nation

This book covers recent aspects of Scottish politics, Scottish society and Scottish life. Underpinned by current and ongoing research, it examines contemporary Scotland through a sociopolitical lens, considering the nature and foundations of Scotland today.

Despite the significant and ongoing attention paid to Scotland, and the national and international interest in numerous aspects of Scottish society and politics, there are very few up-to-date works to which readers can refer. Yet, at a time when the country’s constitutional future has engaged the world, and when interest in Scotland and Scottish issues has been significantly heightened internationally, books that provide insight into Scotland remain limited. This book fills a significant gap by delivering just such insights.

The book includes chapters on Scottish identity, politics, education, employment, gender, ethnicity, class, art, heritage, culture and sport, as well as looking at Scottish culture in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK and overseas. Each chapter draws on contemporary research and identifies key reading, which enables readers to further explore topics in-depth.

This book will be of interest to a wide variety of readers; from university students, researchers and academics, to policymakers and members of the general public, both within and beyond Scotland. It will inform and update people’s understanding of modern-day Scotland and allow for a greater insight and understanding of why and how Scotland has come to be a topic of discussion for itself and others.

Both main authors have wide experience of researching and publishing on a range of Scottish issues and their work underpins this discussion.

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Murray Stewart Leith and Duncan Sim

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the Scottish diaspora. In part, this reflects an increased focus by academics on aspects of international migration and diasporas; Scotland, with a substantial diaspora in most parts of the world, has therefore been a subject for study by a number of historians and sociologists. While we have touched on the diasporic element in other aspects of the book, a clear and focused analysis is presented here. There has been a political interest in the diaspora, with the Scottish Government developing a diaspora strategy, not least in order to encourage ‘roots tourism’, as those individuals of Scots descent come back to visit their ‘homeland’. We explore the ongoing relationship between Scotland and its diaspora, for example in the context of the 2014 Year of Homecoming, and how Scotland seeks to engage with the diaspora, politically and socially.

in Scotland
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Murray Stewart Leith and Duncan Sim

Scotland is often viewed as a rather ‘macho’ society, although research suggests that things are changing. Nonetheless, gender is still an issue in terms of female representation in politics and the boardroom, as well as in senior levels of management, although women play a crucial role in the workforce overall. This chapter explores the position of women within Scottish society and the changes that have been made and that are currently taking place.

in Scotland
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Murray Stewart Leith and Duncan Sim

Sport plays an important role within Scottish life, not least as a focus of national identity. Although Scotland is not an independent state, it has its own international football, rugby and cricket teams and competes independently at the Commonwealth Games. Scotland has played a significant part in the development of sport, particularly within football and in golf, with the world headquarters of golf being at St Andrews. This chapter explores the role that sport plays within Scottish life and in helping to sustain a separate and distinct sense of Scottish identity.

in Scotland
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Murray Stewart Leith and Duncan Sim

In the same way that many English people have migrated to Scotland, many Scots have followed the road south. There are substantial Scots communities in England and this chapter explores their ongoing relationship with Scotland. This relationship was brought into focus in 2014 as Scots living outside Scotland but in the rest of the UK could not vote in the independence referendum. We also look at the attitudes towards Scotland held within England and if there are strains in the relationships between these two nations in particular.

in Scotland
Murray Stewart Leith and Duncan Sim

We move on to discuss more specific aspects of Scottish identity, using ideas such as those of Benedict Anderson, Michael Billig, Tom Nairn and Anthony Smith. We look at how the Scottish nation can be and is defined and, using data from the census and social attitudes surveys, how individuals within that nation define themselves. Are Scots increasingly Scottish, still British or simply ‘not English’? We assess the various layers of identity that exist, the extent to which a Scottish identity is growing at the expense of a British one and the longer-term implications of this. The existing social data is complemented by our recent studies of Scots throughout Scotland, and the contemporary Scottish diaspora itself.

in Scotland
Murray Stewart Leith and Duncan Sim

This chapter looks at the importance of heritage within Scotland and the development of the country’s tourist industry. There is a significant literature on tourism, its relationship to national identity and to the way in which Scotland ‘sells itself’. The chapter therefore relates back to earlier chapters. In many respects, Scotland has led in certain tourist developments such as genealogical research and ‘roots’ tourism and we explore and explain this.

in Scotland
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Murray Stewart Leith and Duncan Sim

This chapter is intended to provide a short historical background to Scotland. It discusses the formation of the kingdom and its battle to remain an independent state. We discuss at what point were we then all ‘Scots’? We consider the various factors that acted to unify the country as well as those that acted to divide. We are not historians and we do not seek to compete with those who are, but we feel it is important to discuss how the country came into being and how it maintained its identity through both the Union of the Crowns in 1603 and the Treaty of Union in 1707. This background will be important to understand some of the long-running social tensions that echo through to today and still impact upon contemporary social and political Scotland.

in Scotland