Browse

Murray Stewart Leith and Duncan Sim

Scottish identity is closely linked to the development of a Scottish culture. There is a body of literature that has explored aspects of art, culture and literature and its distinctiveness from other British culture. This chapter explores art and culture, the role it plays in Scottish life and its role in maintaining a distinctive Scottish identity within Scotland.

in Scotland
Abstract only
Murray Stewart Leith and Duncan Sim

We finish with a conclusion in which we seek to bring together various aspects of Scottish politics and society and perhaps indulge in some tightly focused crystal-ball gazing, in terms of the future direction of the country. After two referendums, on Scottish independence and on EU membership, it is clear that the constitutional future of Scotland is a matter of ongoing debate. We reflect on this and on the wider implications for Scottish society and identity.

in Scotland
Abstract only
David Torrance

Because Scotland is a relatively small country, there are equally small landowning, business and policymaking elites. This chapter, contributed by David Torrance, explores a range of elites, from the traditional class-based elites, to those elites operating in business, in politics, in policymaking and decision-making. Scotland often likes to think of itself as a left-of-centre egalitarian society; Torrance examines the extent to which this is accurate and the extent to which class and contacts remain important vehicles for ‘getting on’ in society. The chapter also explores the extent to which elite and ‘mass’ views of society and politics diverge.

in Scotland
Abstract only
Murray Stewart Leith and Duncan Sim

The census has demonstrated that Scotland is increasingly a multicultural society and the proportion of black and minority ethnic (BME) people in Scotland has doubled to 4 per cent between 2001 and 2011. In Glasgow it is 12 per cent. This chapter looks at the ‘ethnic’ make up of Scottish society and discusses the experiences of minority groups, refugees and asylum seekers and migrant workers. The chapter will make reference also to white migrants within Scotland, for example from Europe, Ireland and the rest of the UK.

in Scotland
Abstract only
Murray Stewart Leith and Duncan Sim

There is a sizeable literature on how Scotland is portrayed or indeed portrays itself. We look at tartan imagery (the ‘Tartan Monster’, as Tom Nairn put it), at images of the ‘kailyard’, ‘Clydesidism’ and the international image of Scotland as a land of heather and glens, whisky, haggis and shortbread. All nations use different forms of imagery but Scotland’s imagery (particularly tartan) is recognised worldwide. Scots are sometimes uncomfortable with this but recognise it as an important marketing tool. We add to the traditional considerations and presentations by looking at how Scotland and being Scottish is employed in contemporary literature and Arts both within and outwith Scotland. We will ask if there is a modern image of Scotland to which all Scots could subscribe and that might be more appropriate in the twenty-first century.

in Scotland
Abstract only
Murray Stewart Leith and Duncan Sim

We begin by asking how many Scotlands there are and how we may make sense of them. Geography has long acted as a way of dividing the country – for example Highland versus Lowland, Glasgow versus Edinburgh, etc. – but people also have an overarching sense of belonging to another Scotland, whatever it might be. There are those who feel part of civic Scotland and those who feel excluded. There are social, religious and cultural differences within Scotland, as within any country. What we focus on and set out in this initial chapter is how we will differentiate them and approach our task, by unpicking the various elements within Scottish life, to expose the many Scotlands that exist, and the many Scots who inhabit them.

in Scotland
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
Abstract only
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
Abstract only
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.

Abstract only
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