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 21: Playing for the Nation
Playing for the Nation
It was a Scot, Bill Shankly, the Liverpool football manager, who growled ‘Someone said that football is more important than life and death to you; and I said, “listen, it’s more important than that”.’1
- To ask if sport matters in Scotland. Do Scots really care?
- To see if sport is ‘war minus the shooting’, as George Orwell claimed.
- To examine the connection between identity, both national and local, and sport.
- To ask if Scots are ‘ninety-minute nationalists’. What, if any, is the connection between sport and politics?
- To examine if the connection between sport and nation/locality has been lost as a result of ‘globalisation’.
Sport and politics
The relationship between sport (usually football) and politics is a familiar Scottish trope. Here is the ...