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Cultural identity and change in the Atlantic archipelago

The concept of 'margins' denotes geographical, economic, demographic, cultural and political positioning in relation to a perceived centre. This book aims to question the term 'marginal' itself, to hear the voices talking 'across' borders and not only to or through an English centre. The first part of the book examines debates on the political and poetic choice of language, drawing attention to significant differences between the Irish and Scottish strategies. It includes a discussion of the complicated dynamic of woman and nation by Aileen Christianson, which explores the work of twentieth-century Scottish and Irish women writers. The book also explores masculinities in both English and Scottish writing from Berthold Schoene, which deploys sexual difference as a means of testing postcolonial theorizing. A different perspective on the notion of marginality is offered by addressing 'Englishness' in relation to 'migrant' writing in prose concerned with India and England after Independence. The second part of the book focuses on a wide range of new poetry to question simplified margin/centre relations. It discusses a historicising perspective on the work of cultural studies and its responses to the relationship between ethnicity and second-generation Irish musicians from Sean Campbell. The comparison of contemporary Irish and Scottish fiction which identifies similarities and differences in recent developments is also considered. In each instance the writers take on the task of examining and assessing points of connection and diversity across a particular body of work, while moving away from contrasts which focus on an English 'norm'.

Open Access (free)
Crossing the margins
Glenda Norquay
and
Gerry Smyth

Scottish strategies; a discussion of the complicated dynamic of woman and nation by Aileen Christianson, which explores the work of twentieth-century Scottish and Irish women writers and assesses the relevance of a postcolonial context in understanding the ‘debatable’ boundaries arising from that intersection; an exploration of masculinities in both English and Scottish writing from Berthold Schoene, which also deploys sexual difference as a means of testing postcolonial theorising, but does so within the context of a discourse in which bodily, social and national

in Across the margins
A regional political class for itself
Klaus Stolz

This chapter analyses the processes of institutionalisation and institutional reform in Catalonia and Scotland in order to identify and explain the capacity of regional politicians to act collectively in pursuit of their collective self-interest. It examines whether politicians have attempted to reform their institutions according to their own professional self-interest and how successful they have been in these attempts. The institutional analysis reveals that the collective action of regional politicians as a class for itself is related back to the institutional structure enabling and restricting their behaviour and to the established career patterns and to the internal structure of the political class in itself that are conditioning its territorial and functional cohesion.

in Towards a regional political class?