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.

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?

Chapter aims

  • To ask whether Scotland is a meaningful topic for sociological analysis.
  • To set out what we mean by ...
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