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From Tartan to TartanryScottish Culture, History and Myth$
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Ian Brown

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748638772

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638772.001.0001

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Tartanry and its Discontents: The Idea of Popular Scottishness

Tartanry and its Discontents: The Idea of Popular Scottishness

(p.115) 7 Tartanry and its Discontents: The Idea of Popular Scottishness
From Tartan to Tartanry

Alan Riach

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter takes a speculative journey through some examples of currency in active transaction, and considers its practice as generating a complex dynamic that seems central, indeed unique, to what the word ‘Scotland’ means. It opines that the story of how tartan has acquired its meanings and how these meanings function is exceptional to Scotland. It adds that no other country has a distinctive, almost infinitely variable (and therefore undefined) cloth pattern as a national badge. It endorses recognition of difference, an inclusiveness that is sensitive to qualities of character, liabilities of preference, strengths and weaknesses that anyone can see at work in any family.

Keywords:   Scotland, tartan, national badge

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