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The view from above: Scottish national identity as an elite concept

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This article examines the nature of national identity as held by political elites within Scotland. Through an examination of interview data collected from over 60 members of the elected political elite within Scotland, questions such as ‘what is Scottishness?’, ‘who can be Scottish?’, and ‘what boundaries to belonging exist in Scotland?’, are addressed. It begins by considering mass survey data concerning such questions, and then compares the results from elite interviews. The article concludes by highlighting the differences that emerge between the mass and elite conceptions of Scottishness today.

Keywords: Scotland; civic; elite; ethnic; identity; nationalism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Social Sciences,University of the West of Scotland, Paisley,Scotland, UK

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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