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 19: Politics and National Identity
Politics and National Identity
Truisms are often recognised when they no longer apply. British politics has conventionally been seen as the purest expression of ‘class politics’, because the UK has historically had little of the electoral complexity of other European countries. There is no tradition, at least on the British mainland, of ‘confessional politics’ where people vote according to their religious affiliation. Neither is there a tradition of ‘sectoral politics’ in which your vote is based on being a farmer or a city dweller. To be sure, Ireland, north and south, is different, but politics on the ‘mainland’, in Scotland, England and Wales, at least since the early twentieth century, seemed historically determined by the politics of social class.
That, until the ...