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.
Chapter 3: What is Scotland?
What is Scotland?
Having spent two chapters examining Scotland’s deep and more immediate history, it might seem facetious at this point to ask: ‘What is Scotland?’ It has, however, serious import. Our task in this book is to construct and give an account of a sociology of Scotland, but where to begin? One might, as we have, begin with ‘history’, because that purports to tell the story; and if we can tell the story reasonably coherently, then surely, we might say, Scotland must exist. It seems academic game-playing to say otherwise. That, however, is to dodge the question. So what is sociologically interesting about Scotland?
- To ask whether Scotland is a meaningful topic for sociological analysis.
- To set out what we mean by ...