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Constructing Scottish Identity in Media Discourses

The Use of Common Sense Knowledge in the Scottish Press


Miriam Schröder

Scotland’s efforts to establish and assert its distinct national identity have a long tradition. National identity has been a central theme throughout the centuries in a country where economic, political, and social issues have tended to be closely bound up with questions of national mentality and emotion. This book examines the part played by Scottish newspapers in constructing identity during a key period of the devolution process, 1997–2011. It uses insights from the fields of cultural and media studies, sociology, cognitive science and narratology into the ways in which culturally defined knowledge and the notions of identity emerging from it have been constructed. The study contributes to the understanding of Scottish identity, and its evaluations are relevant beyond the immediate context of Scotland and the United Kingdom.
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3 Scotland and Scottish Identity as Subjects of Research


As a nation situated within a larger state and possessing a distinct national identity, Scotland has attracted interest from various kinds of academic disciplines. Some scholars have looked into the situation of Scotland within the political construct of the UK and the ways in which political, national or cultural belonging is expressed, others have examined the representations of Scottish national identity in literature, on screen and in art in general, while others again have delved into Scotland’s past in order to find out if and how history shapes contemporary Scottish society.

Much research has, for example, been done from a historical perspective, dealing extensively with Scotland in all its different epochs, with different approaches and foci (e.g. Smout 1997; Broun, Finlay and Lynch 1998; Ferguson 1998; Bogdanor 2001; Pittock 2001; Nairn 2003; Harvie 2004; Wormald 2005; Devine 2006; Massie 2006; Pittock 2008; Oliver 2009; Blaikie 2010). Equally much research has been done in the political sciences or with a political perspective (e.g. Brand 1978; Kellas 1989; Paterson 1994; Bennie, Brand and Mitchell 1997; Brand and Mitchell 1997; Keating 1997; Brown, McCrone and Paterson 1998; Hearn 2000; Keating 2001; Paterson et al. 2001; Greer 2007; Keating 2009), or in sociological and cultural studies (e.g. Cohen 1986; McCrone, Morris and Kiely 1995; Cohen 1997, 2000b; Bicket 2001; Kiely et al. 2001; McCrone 2001; Grabmann 2002; Gardiner 2004; Bicket 2006; Qureshi 2006). A lot of research, in fact too much to deal with here, has also been conducted on...

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