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Political Discourse and National Identity in Scotland$
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Murray Stewart Leith and Daniel P. J. Soule

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748637362

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637362.001.0001

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Mass Perceptions of National Identity: Evidence from Survey Data

Mass Perceptions of National Identity: Evidence from Survey Data

(p.81) 5 Mass Perceptions of National Identity: Evidence from Survey Data
Political Discourse and National Identity in Scotland

Murrey Stewart Leith

Daniel P. J. Soule

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter evaluates survey data to outline how individuals, when aggregated, conceive of their national identity, and what criteria of national membership they impose to determine who can, and cannot, be a member of the Scottish nation. It looks at the dynamics of national identity in relation to the constitutional, political, and wider cultural inflections, as deducible from the mass survey data. The analysis begins with a reflection on the strength of feeling as regards a Scottish versus a British sense of identity, shifting then to a consideration of certain key questions relating to the nature of national identity within Scotland. It also considers the interaction between strength of national identification and how individuals construe national belonging and Scottish identity. The chapter furthermore describes the theoretical divide that challenges any study into nationalism and national identity both within Scotland and upon the wider stage.

Keywords:   national identity, national membership, Scotland, survey data, British identity

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