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.
Introduction While the previous chapter provided a brief consideration of key aspects of Scottish history, what it also provided was a clear sense of the importance of Scotland’s identity throughout that history. We established that, academic arguments about reification aside, Scotland is a nation and the people who feel they belong to that nation hold a strong sense of national identity. Therefore, our discussion now moves to consider the nature of that sense of Scottish identity. Drawing upon a number of leading theorists and ideas about national identity
Introduction Scotland and Scottish politics have long been influenced by its dual identities – Scottish and British. The subtle interplay of these has been a contextual background factor since 1707 and many aspects of Scottish history, from its participation in the British state and its empire through to the post-1945 growth of the welfare state and the political environment in the period up to and beyond devolution, cannot be considered seriously without the interplay of these dual identities. Consequently, convergence, co-existence and accommodation between
Introduction Although much of this book is concerned with aspects of Scottish politics and Scottish society within Scotland itself, we must also have regard to the important and sizeable Scottish communities elsewhere. Scotland is a country that has experienced large-scale emigration for centuries and there now exists a substantial diaspora population outside the country. We explore the Scottish diaspora in England in Chapter 11 , where individuals and families have moved from Scotland but remained within the UK. In this chapter we look at the Scots who have
Introduction Scotland is often (and rightly) thought of as a country characterised by emigration and there is a significant Scottish diaspora, which we discuss in Chapter 10 . But there is also a long history of immigration to Scotland, most notably by Irish families in the nineteenth century, but including large numbers of migrants from elsewhere in Europe and the Commonwealth. After the Second World War inward migration increased with significant movement from South Asia into the UK and in more recent times Glasgow has been a host city for large numbers of
Introduction A popular musical duo in the 1960s were Michael Flanders and Donald Swann, who wrote and performed a series of comic songs. One of their most famous was entitled ‘A Song of Patriotic Prejudice’ in which the pair exalted the English, while at the same time dismissing the Scots, Welsh, Irish and a host of other European peoples on the basis of a series of national stereotypes. The song, while entertaining in itself, also lampooned the kind of unthinking nationalistic prejudice that fails to look beyond surface stereotyping. For Scotland, such
an increasing interest in sport because of the contribution it can make to society’s health and well-being; sport is therefore viewed as a useful instrument for achieving non-sport objectives (Houlihan 2008 ). In this chapter, we explore sport in Scotland in three ways. First, we will examine how sport is a key element within Scottish society – in other words, sport is ‘something important that we do’. Second, we will explore how sport – and in particular the fielding of Scottish sports teams – has assisted in strengthening the sense of Scottish identity. In
Introduction This chapter explores the relationship between Scotland’s heritage and its large and significant tourist industry. We will discuss how tourism has developed in Scotland, how the country ‘sells’ itself, the relevance of the imagery associated with Scotland (tartan and the like) and the various elements that make up the tourist industry. The chapter builds on some of the topics we have already discussed elsewhere, such as Scotland’s imagery ( Chapter 4 ), diaspora and what might be termed ‘roots’ tourism ( Chapter 10 ) and aspects of the country
Introduction It was Henry Fairlie, a London-born journalist of Scottish descent, who first popularised the term ‘the Establishment’. In a September 1955 column for the Spectator , he examined how the social circle around the Soviet spies Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean had moved to protect the men’s families from press scrutiny. 1 Fairlie explained that he did not only mean the centres of official power – though they are certainly part of it – but rather the whole matrix of official and social relations within which power is exercised. The exercise of power
Introduction The previous chapter discussed, in some depth, the contemporary nature of the term diaspora and provided a consideration of the differing typologies that can be applied to such groups, in order to make sense of their origins, composition, activity and reasons for existence within differing polities. As we noted, the Scottish diaspora around the world is quite varied in terms of its origin and locale, as well as its driving motivation and level of organised activity. In our analysis, we divided the Scottish diaspora into simple geographical groups