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Myths and Stereotypes of PostWar Scotland
A nation is "a group of people united by a mistaken view about the past and a hatred of their neighbours."
(Karl Deutsch, "Nationalism and its Alternatives") Stereotypes and Myths
Culture, Society and Nation A Nation without a State? This section deals with the stereotypes and modern “myths” that surround Scottish national identity (both as selfrepresentation and in the ideas of others) under these circumstances. Scotland is a small country perched on the edge of Europe and without the wider association with Britain, it would hardly fail to register on a scale of powerful nations. Beside such large countries as Germany and France, Scotland is roughly the size of historical Brittany or contemporary Denmark and is not far from the status of the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. It will not be surprising, as a result, that many of things that are discussed in the following pages might seem familiar to Scots but will seem distant – and even vaguely unappealing, like a rain sodden holiday (“a perpetual Sunday” was Sartre's verdict following a holiday in Scotland) – for many outside of the country. This being said, Scotland is remarkable for the extent to which it does have “ brand” in a way that countries such as Latvia or Estonia do not (few, I think, would actually be able to situate these countries on a map, let alone distinguish one from the other). Yet, the problem with the powerful image that Scotland had generated of itself – or had generated for it – is tht it is seen by many Scots as being nothing but a caricature. Stereotypes function in the same manner as caricatures. A caricature works by exaggerating certain traits that are nevertheless easily recognisable. The exaggeration distorts something that is nevertheless present, whether it be physical characteristics, a set of mannerisms or affectations. The goal can be to strengthen a positive sense of the person or object being caricatured (John Bull as an honest English yeoman in the face of continental totalitarian regimes, for instance), to humiliate, mock and satirise but it can also involve something more humorous and hence not necessarily insulting.
approaches to the question of what it is that constitute national culture often suppose a state and with it a largely unexamined identification of the state with the nation and the nation with society. or did. Not only is it an internationally recognised stereotype of a small nation. [E. Anderson places print capitalism at the very heart of his theory. This is another remarkable thing about the Scottish stereotype. in Scotland's case by the Wars of Independence in the early fourteenth century. Is it not the case that this history – which previously had been used to distinguish the caricature from the reality – is itself a myth of sorts. In other words. Breaking from Gellner (the Nations and Nationalism appeared in the same year (1983) as the first edition of Imagined Communities). Perhaps the most read book about nationalism. the executive and those that they ruled over – but rather a matter of a taken for granted culture constructed through novels and other myths. Liberalism. As a result. Anderson argues that prenational culture was religious culture. it is a stereotype of a nation that for much of its history has been absorbed into a larger state.Against this background. Zuelow] . Benedict Anderson. Anderson places greater emphasis on the constructed nature of culture and on the role of print capitalism to the development of nations. nor Enlightenment could. 1995.” (Banal Nationalism. Nations replaced this religious culture with their own uniquely constructed national cultures. Anderson adheres to the modernization argument explaining the origin of nations. for his part suggests that the nation also suggests that the nation is an “imagined community” and that it comes into being in relation to print (we imagine the naation in the same way as we might imagine a community with which we identify in fiction). as much a construct as the Loch Ness monster and men in kilts? To the extent that the nation is an “imagined community” formed in relation to the dissemination of mass culture after printing – in the now much quoted analysis associated with Benedict Anderson – the examination of ordinary popular culture offers a fertile introduction to what it is that constitutes Scottish national identity. On the cultural front. writes: “the 'society' which lies at the heart of sociology's self definition is created in the image of the nationstate. including “historical myths”? As such. page 53). or shape. What if the nation was less a matter of social contract theory – the political philosophy that emerged as the justification for a new types of contractual relation between the monarch and the people. Flanders – a region of 6 million with its langauge – all but disappears from the radar in terms of the perception of its existence from an international perspective. claiming that it was print capitalism which allowed for the development of these new national cultures and created the specific formations which the new nations would eventually take. who will shortly be discussed in more detail. Michael Billig. nations developed as a necessary component of industrial society. to begin with stereotypes is to begin with popular forms of representation as these are included in and often form the essential content of consideration of national identity. This involves a sense of a body of written texts that constitute the secular texts of national identity. or imagined community" (65). Comparison with Flanders is instructive in this respect. what function does the literary construction of the nation – as an effect of print culture – fulfil and what explains the fact that it is sustained by events in the distant past. though neither "economic interest. create in themselves the kind.
Anderson argues that the nation is a relatively recent historical phenomenon. the most influential individual in the study of nationalism has been Benedict Anderson. something usually associated with the far right. for instance. there is a relation between the banal and the extreme forms of nationalism. typically at a distance from the established centres of the West. he claims.etown.edu/docs/History/Historyand%2520NationalismD. Owing to the expansion of print capitalism in the Americas and Europe. ethnic. The guerilla figures. Hence the interest in stereotypes and mass culture as the point of departure for this essay. something that is often referred to as “patriotism” rather than chauvinism. It always seems to locate nationalism on the periphery. these materials helped create a community of linguistically related readers. each member of which imagined him or herself part of a larger print culture. In consequence. contiguous geographic area but is an entity created in the minds of thousands and millions of reading individuals. the emphasis on nationalism as xenophobia obscures the pervasive and potent nature of the “banal” or ordinary or everyday variety of nationalism. hence. operate in conditions where existing structures of state have collapsed.David Kenley sums up Anderson's conception of nationalism neatly in his History and Nationalism: The Imagined Community in the Twentieth Century: In the past twenty years. %2520Kenley. (http://webcache.doc+ationalisms:+The+Nation State+and+Nationalism+in+the+Twentieth+Century&cd=1&hl=fr&ct=clnk&gl=be&client=firefoxa What “print capitalism” did from the sixteenth century onwards (and. Banal nationalism is the construction of ordinary forms of identity that have a national character.googleusercontent. but a peripheral one. Indeed. and educational backgrounds began reading common narratives in newspapers and other printed materials. he suggests that the fact that it is not stigmatised but assumed to be the very stuff of community and social interaction renders it all the more powerful as an ideological reflex: ". Billig's conception of “banal nationalism” is to be understood. the “boundaries” of the nation will change over time as elites and subelites compete to rewrite the dominant narratives in the media. Separatists are often to be found in the outer regions of states. In other words.. the nation is not simply a bordered. For Billig. there is something misleading about this accepted use of the word ‘nationalism’. the extremists lurk on the margins of political life in established democracies. individuals with diverse class. Not surprisingly. This imagined community then became the basis of the modern nation. seeking to establish their new homelands. (…) All these factors combine to make nationalism not merely an exotic force.. not of ‘us’.com/search? q=cache:e3OM6bYUuhcJ:www. well before the rise of a postHerderian conception of “nationalism” in the nineteenth century) is today still being undertaken by the mass media: the radio. those in established nations – at the centre of things – are led to see nationalism as the property of others. in this sense. . cinema and television. usually shunned by the sensible politicians of the centre. in opposition to what might be called assertive nationalism. As a result.
popular songs. the vagaries of the climate were best described in line with national history).This also holds true historically: the emergence of the English and Dutch nationstates (in opposition to the Spanish Hapsburgs. giving rise to a spontaneous sense of identity between people of the same nation (as this influences other groupings around class. banal nationalism is a form of national solidarity that. 2002. culture is transmitted and identities are forged. where they mingle with innumerable other iconic cultural elements which signify the nation in multiple and contested ways. if print culture is the means of their dissemination. Scotland followed in the wake of England (the key marker in this respect being a Protestantism that still holds a central place in Scottish national identity – as sectarian football allegiances suggest). Our identities. The Euronews television station. this is limited to the national borders (in the Iberian peninsula. for instance. This applies also to regionalnational accents within wider language groupings (the French. Popular Culture and Everyday Life. national culture is essentially and almost by definition. symbols. Tim Edensor argues: “ I do not want to suggest that the traditionbound ceremonies and other cultural ingredients which most analysts of national identity have concentrated on are now irrelevant. somehow. In this respect. hopelessly syncretic and artificial in their identities): the Caledonian Society in Scotland or Burns Supper Nights. patriotic forms of dress all give rise to a sense of belonging. Edensor would seem to be influenced by the different currents of symbolic interactionism (and the notion of the “social construction of reality” dear to Berger) but also by “cultural studies” after Hoggart and Williams (see separate section for discussion of the “empiricist” basis to this approach). (Tim Edensor . It is undoubtedly the case that ordinary culture and the construction of selfidentity – not least in the continuity that is found between language. by contrast gives European weather reports. As such we are constantly reminded of our nationality – the flag hanging on the public building – so that it becomes something that is interwoven into our daily experience in an all but subliminal manner rather than brandished in our faces. within a common language and set of religious affiliations. some Spanish television stations actually lop the Portuguese out of the picture as if. unified language. as already suggested. Sport. National Identity. Indeed. page 2) A sociologist. to subordinate these groupings to this higher sense of identity). but that their power is now largely sustained by their (re)distribution through popular culture. popular culture (the coronation of the Queen in England is an event that generates intense popular interest). flag waving. For those in settled nations where the national culture has become a simple reflex. moreover. the Frenchspeaking Swiss and the Walloons) and clubs dedicated to characteristically national forms of behaviour supposedly enrooted in ancestral tradition (but. religion and nationality – is powerfully influenced by national forms The nation becomes that space in which marriages are contracted. to the same community. O Berg. in particular) precedes by a good two centuries the rise of nineteenth century nationalism elsewhere in Europe (this time in direct opposition to Napoleon). gender and ethnicity and tends. national currency. The nation is not. a simply . like Anderson's “imagined communities” is constructed. it would seem. religion and a single. Like the rocks and the lakes of the country's geography – a landscape we are encouraged to venerate – national identity comes to take on an inevitable or immutable form. the key markers of nationality tend to be a national epic account of history (and this is not the only way that history can be written). as a result. are seen as being constructed – and more often than not assumed willingly – within a given national space. Such things even involve the weather report and the fact that. in fact. as a result.
postwar reconstruction and a optimistic faith in Keynesian economics and technological modernisation. born in 1918. come to appear as being that of another generation. Some of these figures (such as Sean Connery) are known internationally. there was a temptation to pursue this description up to the present. is a part of Scottish folklore and most people in Scotland will have heard his name whilst few in England. will know who he is or care. The Generation of the Twenties For me at least. For the British at least and not least the Scottish. characteristically local belief systems and a sense of a common historical destiny overlap and interpenetrate. the following introduction is an exercise in history – one that begins with the short duration of generational change– as this supposes a simple passage from one period of twentyfive to thirty years to another (from 1945 to 1975). conjures up an image of Britain after the War. it is the point at which language. austerity and rationing (in which the later differences between the West and East of Europe were not yet so flagrantly obvious). and Raymond Williams. Jimmy Boyle. In writing about popular dance music in Scotland. It involves a clearly generational perspective one that allies these figures with a network of other “public intellectuals” – such as as Jonathan Miller– and a certain characteristically English and generally Oxbridge left liberalism. let alone Europe. quite clearly. between 1920 and 1950 (although some of the influences that they experienced as the productions of an earlier generation coming to maturity at about the end of the Second World War have also been included).abstract form. the escapism of the Hollywood entertainment industry. it is the sense of the way in which certain forms of representation fall away. being a part of a more local and purely Scottish environment. a number of emblematic figures – both fictional and real – have tended to emerge with real people rubbing shoulders with fictional creations in the pantheon of notable Scots. for the most part. the simple mention of the names Richard Hoggart. for instance. However. such figures such as Bill Shanklyn) and many others are more obscure. In this context. If this “synthetic” perspective deals with the present. There are high degrees of continuity between traditionally conceived notions of popular entertainment and those that are current today. the emblematic figures that it describes are a generation born. born in 1921. this sense of a common national bond – defining an idealised community – is constantly renewed within diverse forms of the mass media. If this generation has a particular relation to Scotland. it also entails a high degree of mimitism and admiration. this influence is a matter of ambivalence. In this respect. In working on the national stereotypes that are most readily associated with Scotland. It is one in which the overarching dominance of American postWar culture casts a very long shadow. many of them are known across Britain (for example. No longer simply dependent on print. a world that is not quite yet that of decolonisation and flower power but rather of grimy buildings. for instance. of an attempt to define a separate existence in relation to the successes of the Americans but also. the first televisions. clanking buses. forms of that representation. This is a world of expanding educational opportunities. a distinction imposed itself between contemporary endeavours that can be classed in the category of typically Scottish culture today and the older. Britain and Europe (and beyond to the world of the Cold War) – as this enables us to examine the extent to which Scottish national culture has changed – their sense of . now more manifestly dated. another time that is most interesting in the description of myths and stereotypes. of the grammar school boys that were able to accede to the top universities for the first time.
is also understood. many Scots will no doubt be dismayed to learn. organic relations between farm owner and farm hand (and behind this of aristocrat and serf) and it supposes a deep sense of continuity between the land and social forms as this invests social relations with an all but organic form. In Freud we are what we are in relation to the Greek myth of Oedipus. In this respect. For sociologists. This invariable structure based in the family – as it is validated by anthropological research concerned with the transition from the animal to the human world – is given outside of time and incessantly repeated from one generation to the next. this nationalism is largely irrelevant (as the derisory electoral scores of the nationalists until the seventies reveal). degraded form. It is a technique that is found. David McCrone attributes the central image that others hold of Scotland as arising as a result of the union of 1707 after which point. paradoxically enough. mythemes or stereotypes that go towards the postWar conception of the Scottish national identity. of modernity. in The Strange Death of Scottish History. This involves dividing the country into two axes of north and south. However. something stronger than a merely regional identity. urban and rural. Topographical and Historical Approaches The Artificially Epic Nature of Scottish Clichés In discussing these mass produced images – the original sense of stereotype is that of an image that can be reproduced or reiterated in exactly the same form an indefinite amount of times – a simple methodological procedure of binary division has been adopted. however. the method that has been adopted here is to concentrate not on the experience of Scots – an inchoate mass of sense impressions – but rather on the manner in which an image of Scotland is created by the culture industry. as an artificial system of references constructed. it is one that. It is impossible to read a student dissertation that does not begin with the ritual evocation of this artificial history to which a real politics capable of forging another history is opposed as a constantly frustrated possibility. For the postWar generation that is the main object of this discussion. This leads to a feeling of Scotland's having taken refuge in the “”emotional trappings of the Scottish past. McCrone suggests Scotland surrendered its political sovereignty and was left with an excess of extraeous “culture” in its place. whilst significant in the construction of identity. This.Scottishness is clearly deeply informed by the polarising effect of the war itself as this tended to reinforce ideas of Britishness in the common struggle against Nazizm. from within a remarkably conservative tradition. is as much a cliché – in sociological analysts speaking of Scotland – as the stereotypes that they seek to dissipate. of traditional. unchanging or immemorial point of reference around which origins are constructed. This allows for a relatively complete description of the main myths that inform outsider's visions of Scotland (but also Scots images of themselves). In discussing the images. It is actually a highly generalised feature. The “epic” history of a glorious past is opposed to a less than glorious present. In the generation that interests us. “epic” involves a particular view of time: it refers to events that have been abstracted from the movement of generations and historical change to produce a rigid. working class and middle class. clichés. quoting Marinell Ash.” he suggests. the films of Michael Powell or the novels of Compton MacKenzie play a particularly . east and west. for instance. Highlandism and tartanty represents a somewhat equivalent return to an epic history albeit one that takes a sort of popular. by and large. It is a defence of the pastoral against the urban. in Freud. there is clearly a strong sense of there being a distinctive Scottish identity.
which have significant and sometimes decisive influence on the active development of a culture. Nesbit – would seem to emerge at the point at which Glasgow as refashioned an identity for itself as a modern. . in intellectual and artistic life. mythologising of the past would seem also to have a real function. The village is condemned it to remain forever the same as a fossilised remain of what once had been. the proletariat). The image this time is of a backward Scotland. indigenous culture are broken off and preserved. much as if they were museum pieces or treasured shards of an ancestral past. McCrone writes (employing. the implication this time would seem to be that the nation is best defined in relation to the urban world (and hence to the dominant forces of a bourgeoisie and their correlate. for marriages). Something of the problem for Scottish national identity is also to be found here. the sentimentalised representation of this culture in the mass media arises at a time when the local. Yet. The cultural sociologist Raymond Williams spoke of ‘cultural formations’ as ‘effective movements and tendencies. kailyard sentimentality of the late nineteenth century supposes a close association between tartanry and the values of the backwards looking close knit rural community in which whisky oiled celebrations confirm. like kilt wearing. The final defeat – in what was a slow and no doubt inevitable demise – of the Jacobites at Cullodon (as this involved the London government's banning of the wearing of tartan) brought with it the parallel revival of tartan in the British army. tied to an old world and not to the new. Such cultural formations help to set the framework within which matters are discussed. The kitsch. The effect is a little like the curse in the mythical village of Brigadoon (see below). even at this restricted level. the values of provincial solidarity. American mass culture – that chips or splinters of what had been more dynamic and socially relevant. Highlanders – in the national dress that was now designed for them by the military bureaucracy – now had a role to play in the Empire. a central reference to Williams) : “The purpose of this chapter is to set out the ways in which dominant discourses about Scotland have handled it. page 117). the main difficulty here – a sign of laziness rather than anything else – is to assume that there are only two myths that govern national existence. a course unemployed waster – Rab C. in the end. and which have a variable and often oblique relation to formal institutions’ (1977. Scots became hopelessly nostalgic. now a symbol of a Highland warrior fighting for a Hanoverian King and a Whig country across a far flung empire. dynamic city of culture. more recently. Nevertheless. We might group discussion about Scottish culture into the following broad formations: tartanry and the ‘Kailyard’. those of tartanry and kailyard. village entertainment that it represented – and as this was already preserved as a commercialised stereotype in music hall – came under assault from more American forms of dance culture and electronic music. one that survives only to the extent that the state subsides its indolence. Once rock and roll became the music of the young. Even the image of the drink besotted Glaswegian Scot. (McCrone.revealing role in this respect. as does Tim Edensor mentioned above. As will be argued. not to establish what Scottish culture ‘is’. It is at that point at which cultural traditions are superseded – often as a result of the growing influence of English or. Given that these two mythemes belong to the rural world. the accordion and the violin at the centre of traditional dance music could only ever be the music of the old (today preserved. page 131) This sense of fragments being knocked off a more dynamic culture and preserved as emblematic is a picture that emerges time and time again.
Scottish culture can be broken down into such variables as lower and upper class. including images of urban decay. given that it was the creation of the Australian Mel Gibson. might at first have seemed implausible. the Queen. Topographically and Synchronically. the east and west division is a division within the urban environment. however. Scottish stereotypes or caricatures extend well beyond this limited horizon. The tartan and Braveheart image of Scotland is not the only stereotype that artists. stereotypes have been considered topographically and historically.“Brand Scotland” would thus seem to be the result of the display of a number of fossilised remains. a) the north and the south. Other pictures contribute to the nature of the Scottish identity. a museum in which aspects of national culture that no longer have much relevance to anyone in particular in the present are preserved in aspic and displayed on high days and holidays. intellectuals and commentators have available to them any more than the kailyard school is relevant to intellectuals working in the highly urbanised central belt of Scotland. Frankie Boyle is a contemporary Glasgow comic whose success depends to some considerable extent on on his jaundiced vision of a Scotland made up of stereotypical drunken. As such. the result of such mythmaking. urban Scots (tartanry and Highlandism being quite foreign to him as a Glaswegian). on the other hand. and the more uneducated. the class division has been considered in terms of the difference between Edinburgh and Glasgow. on the one hand. If it is true that these divisions give rise to different “mythologies. deprived. A little artificially. by far and away.” the divisions between north and south and east and west are not merely abstract categories but reflect real geographical and cultural differences between the Highlands and the Lowlands. the largest population density in the country). admittedly. perhaps he was better suited to set himself up as an ambassador for authentic Scottish values than was at first thought. on the other hand). This initial section seeks to supply a relatively comprehensive description of the myths and stereotypes around which Scottish national identity has been constructed – from within and outside of Scotland – and to consider to what extent Scottish national identity is. and division within the “central belt” (the two fertile valleys of the Firth and the Clyde as this represents. As will be seen. However. in the end. Boyle suggests that Braveheart as quintessentially Scottish. political struggle (usually on the left) and the Glasgow hard man. working class or regional population. Against this background. The Braveheart model of nationality might thus be contrasted with that other image of urban decay and unemployment (perhaps as an all but delirious compensatory mechanism). Once these museum pieces have been created – not unlike the English royal family – they become convenient shorthand for summing up a culture and they can be extremely difficult to shake off. something that reflects stereotype to the effect that Edinburgh is more middle class and Glasgow more typically working class . Such clichés represent the indigenous culture to the external world and hopelessly artificial though the whole process might be. the Highlands and the Lowlands . if we look at the way Gibson has now developed an image as a “drunken racist”. regional and urban sections of the population (there is often a distinct national stereotype of the educated and urban population. represents a division between urban and rural populations. red telephone boxes and the Beefeaters represent brand England to the external world as surely as Highland warriors and tartan represent Scotland. on the one hand. The northsouth divide.
The Lowlands. that “kailyard” arises as the expression of the characteristic values of the small. Glasgow and Edinburgh. between the Lowlands and the Highlands as this entails a particular attitude to the Highlands. The main movement has been towards greater assimilation of a once hostile Highlands into the general category of the Scottish nation. includes a wider distinction between the rural and the urban and cannot be reduced to the specific cultures of the urban environments of the central belt. and the working classes will be considered. the main distinction on which commentators universally agree is between kailyard and Brigadoon (as this represents a continuity within the rural as opposed to the urban environments. away from the identification of Scottish culture with the Enlightenment – to which Scottish scientists. as opposed to the Highlands. say. Edinburgh is the political and administrative centre whilst Glasgow is the largest town. a port and an industrial centre (as this spreads out in an urban sprawl along the “central belt”). The representation of gender with regard to Scottish culture will be considered in a separate section. the respective cultures associated with Edinburgh and Glasgow. on the one hand.~ the north. b) the west and east. the urban and industrial culture of northern England This is surely one of the most interesting aspects of the Scottish identity: the way in which the Scots came to identify themselves with what was formerly perceived as a section of the population beyond the pale of civilisation. it might be argued that this assimilation – as it gives rise to” tartanry” – has been one fundamental element in defining the cultural distinctness of the Scottish as opposed to. and. one that has had a significant role to play in the construction of Scottish identity and which can be shown to have undergone a dramatic shift in the terms of representation from the end of the eighteenth century onwards. It is in this context. It involves a shift. engineers and intellectuals made a really quite significant contribution – towards an “epic” construction rooted in an ancestral past. Glasgow and Edinburgh. There is second a distinction to be made between west and east. In terms of the clichés and stereotypes that are generated from against this background. rural town or village outside of the Gaelic speaking highlands (whose clichéd representation is termed “Brigadoon”). Scotland might also be seen in terms of a further distinction between the rural environment. on the one hand. within the late eighteenth century and the early nineteenth century. on the other hand. . ~ the south In so far as the Lowlands are concerned. Indeed. the way in which a culture formed in isolation from Latinate influence comes to be seen as representing the core nation in the construction of a distinct cultural identity. It is within this distinction that differences in class and the various representations of the upper and middle classes. doctors.
Because this does not have a particular geographical specificity it is considered separately as a general trait (although the stereotype. Finaly's Casebook and kailyard. is Balmoral. Thirdly. The question of the manner in which gender is represented in relation to the dominant mythologising will also be considered as the tenth myth or stereotype. Representative figures in this respect are a list of performers ranging from Harry Lauder to Jimmy Shand. (Can you think of any notable Scottish homosexuals? How about the English?) ~ The North and South Divide a) Rob Roy and Balmoral. this has also been further divided into two main sections. b) From Harry Lauder to Billy Connoly. The second is the folk tradition as it descends via music hall before ending up as a form of “tartanry” in the White Heather Club. the kailyard – or the so called “cabbage patch” vision of Scottish identity – involves a sentimentalised vision of rural. the first of the main stereotypes is “tartanry” as this involves a highly romanticised vision of Highland culture (but one that has been generalised to signify “Scottishness” as such). The second deals with the west and the east of the country (and the distinctive cultures of Glasgow and Edinburgh. c) Dr. As already suggested. d) John Laurie and Private Frazer. Braveheart produced from an Australian/ American background is actually an exception rather than the rule. The example that will be singled out as most representative is that of the television series Dr Finlay's Casebook although.Ten Main Stereotypes Most descriptions of Scotland describe only three of the main stereotypes detailed below. Closely related to a certain . This section deals with the persistence of the ten stereotypes in Scotland today as this can be understood “synchronically”. something that involves a transfer of ancestral loyalty to the clan chief (as this formed a backbone of Jacobite resistance to the conversion of Scotland's identity to imperatives dictated from a Whiggish London) to the figure of the Hanoverian monarch.M. In so far as this first section is concerned. The fourth is a stereotype that is easily recognised by both the English and the Scottish and is that of the Calvinist miser and conveyor of doom laden predictions. as this entails five main elements). undying and unthinking loyalty to the British Crown. it might be argued. Geographical factors overlap with considerations of social class. the leading figure in this movement was perhaps J. it will be argued. Barrie. is specifically Scottish. Balmoral is the result of Scott's making over of Scottishness to a sense of traditional. village life (with a strong colouring of Calvinism). there are at least ten overlapping elements that go towards making up the Scottish national identity. in this respect. Andy Stewart and Jimmy Logan.as portrayed in the media. ~ Central to this mythology. However. predominantly rural communities in which Presbyterian values continue to remain active. The films Braveheart and Rob Roy both produced in the middle of the nineties are representative. in literature. The first deals with the division between the north and the south of the country (and involves four elements). It is the result of small. although Rob Roy is the better expression of Scott's original conception of Scottishness.
John Laurie. this aspect to Scottish national identity was not included. the combination of sectarian divides and urban poverty in the middle of the twentieth century contributed to making this aspect to Scottish culture assuming a particular prominance. than the “national treasure” Sean Connery. Rab C. in The Broons. e) Cartoons of Scottish life. h) Red Clydeside and Jimmy Reid. Aimed at children. g) Clydesideism and Jimmy Boyle: an image of working class culture in Glasgow based in the violence of gangland existence. on the one hand. particular in The Simpsons. in this respect. Although undoubtedly common to all urban conglomerations. there is also a powerful construction of Scottish identity in cartoons. f) Urban decay and the Glasgow Drunk. Nesbit will be taken as representative of this stereotype. this is a vision that derives from a superstitious rural hinterland with an over investment in the apocalyptic and millennial aspects to Calvinism. ~ The Broons. Because the cultural pull of Edinburgh – and the urbanised upper and upper middle classes as they move easily between Edinburgh. Historically this extends to cover the Scottish Enlightenment – at a far remove from “tartanry” – and a remarkable flourishing of scientists. Glasgow drunk. it would appear. will be Jimmy Boyle. ~ Groundkeeper Willie in The Simpsons is now the most wellknown Scot in the world (even better known. It was placed instead i) Enlightenment Edinburgh: Hume and Adam Smith. drunkenness and unemployment. poverty. but closer to Scotland itself. The caricature varies between this stereotype. The last of these three urban stereotypes covers the more genteel culture of Edinburgh with its lawyers and urban professionals. Attitudes to this aspect of Scottish culture range from distaste to a certain celebration of working class.Gothic aspect to Scottish culture. Groundkeeper Willie is not so much the representative of one clichéd representative of Scotland as he is a composite of the different traditions with a high dose of the cantankerous. In the initial planning of this section. doctors and engineers. a separate section has been devoted to Edinburgh from David Hume to Sean Connery. drink sodden bravura. . inherited this time. and a more Highland aspect to the character. kilt wearing chef. it would seem. London and the Empire – is so great and so central to the description of the national identity. an actor who plays a particularly important role across the whole period as the “token Scot”. from an original caricature found on Canadian television of a drunken. has made a speciality of this stereotype. The representative figure. Glasgow is often associated with urban decay. ~ The East and West Divide The last four “geographical” stereotypes are more urban and involve the difference between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
pessimistic to the recreational pursuits. less internationally successful literature. this time. it would seem. small communities. one that does not have specific geographical character but is found across the geographical divisions mentioned above is that of a powerful expression of traditional masculine values as these are reflected in the epic of the Highland warrior – from Braveheart to Rob Roy – but also in a certain image of the Scots middle class and the myth embodied. by Sean Connnery as James Bond (a myth that is supported by secondary. Protestant work ethic or the left (a “perpetual Sunday” for and Presbyterianism the Parisian Sartre). upstanding and although votes. bigoted and blinkered union militant (or “working class hero” depending on perspective) – has been discussed in more detail in the section devoted to the historical rise and fall of different myths. The main goal here. Rurally conservative population communal values. Finally. a short overview of the main stereotypes gives a table of the following sort: Positive North Negative North: Burkean sublime. in general. such as the adventure novels of John Buchan). This suggests a clear alignment of the nation with ideals of family life to be contrasted with the descent into sexual perversion that surrounds and menaces authentic Scottish existence passed on through unequivocally patriarchal family values. “romantic” point of the morbid. North and South Element of rural superstition alongside the Calvinist apocalyptic (Private . is to set up an image of “authentic” masculinity as this involves the founding of a family based in heather surrounded blooms of romantic love or in the willingness to risk life for the British state in the face of an evil.Another aspect to Scottish culture – that of the militant. ~ Scotland as a land of rugged masculinity j) Sean Connery as National Treasure. the “laird”). global plan to introduce sinister cat stroking homosexuality at best to the rest of the world by sophisticated military means. to the centre hardworking. Summary of Main Stereotypes In the light of the eight stereotypes mentioned above. aristocratic Calvinistic kill joys. avaricious (Walter Scott) (impoverished aristocracy. the last stereotype. South South: kailyard.
socially useful professions. violent. unhealthy construction of the New Town) Similar tables could. . Nesbit). for instance Pragmatic. it is to be expected. as being snobbish: same stereotype as is applied to lawyers. ill snobbishness) educated (similar to the English chav but with red hair). similar effects. undoubtedly. classical eighteenth century understood. Generally (Hume). lack of pretension (by dirty and illkept. (Alexander Fleming.Fraser in Dad's Army) East Edinburgh: cultivated. Runs into the Scottish “gentleman” (Bond and Connery) West Friendly. helpful. yielding. Dunlop). be established for other countries. Uncouth. hospitable. salt of Glasgow: poverty stricken. nineteenth century comparison with perceived English slums (Rab C. the earth. from the point of view of (emerges with the the provinces. wellperceived but elegant. enlightened.
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