Written by a leading sociologist of Scotland, this ground-breaking new introduction is a comprehensive account of the social, political, economic and cultural processes at work in contemporary Scottish society. At a time of major uncertainty and transformation The New Sociology of Scotland explores every aspect of Scottish life. Placed firmly in the context of globalisation, the text: • examines a broad range of topics including race and ethnicity, social inequality, national identity, health, class, education, sport, media and culture, among many others. • looks at the ramifications of recent political events such as British General Election of 2015, the Scottish parliament election of May 2016, and the Brexit referendum of June 2016. • uses learning features such as further reading and discussion questions to stimulate students to engage critically with issues raised. Written in a lucid and accessible style, The New Sociology of Scotland is an indispensable guide for students of sociology and politics.

When was Scotland?1

When was Scotland?1

This is a ‘sociology’ book, not a ‘history’ book, but arguably you cannot write one without the other. It is for historians to decide how much, or how little, sociology they wish to include, but beginning to tell the story of Scotland, as this chapter tries to do, cannot be done without history. In any case, we might ask: when does the ‘past’ end and the ‘present’ begin? We cannot understand one without the other. Arguably, the sociology of any society must involve telling its story, at least in terms of how its structures, social, political and economic, and its cultures were formed.

That, however, raises an important question: how much ‘history’ to include and how to tell it? Since ...

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