Society, Culture and Context UK: Identity
Chapter 4 Identity: the characteristics, feelings of beliefs that distinguish people from others (Oxford) Ethnic identity: the four nations
National (ethnic) identity can be strong among the people in Britain whose ancestors were not English. For Scottish, Welsh or Irish people, this loyalty is a matter of emotional attachment. Scotland
For the Scottish there are three constant reminders of their distinctiveness: * Aspects of public life (education, the legal and welfare systems are organized differently) * Scottish way of speaking (dialect Scots is spoken everyday by working class in lowlands) * Symbols of Scottishness are well known throughout Britain The feeling of being Scottish is not that simple, this is partly because of the historical cultural split between highland and lowland Scotland. Wales
The people in Wales do not have as many reminders of their Welshness in everyday life. People in Wales often do not consider themselves to be Welsh at all, because in the nineteenth century, large numbers of people went to find work there. The language however, is a highly important symbol. About 20% of the population in Wales the mother tongue is Welsh. The language is in a strong position due to media attention and campaigns. It receives a lot of public support. England
In the last 200 years most people who described themselves as English have made little distinction between English and British. English and British anthem is the same at international football and rugby. As a part of the growing profile of ethnic identity the English part, distinct from British is becoming clearer. English supporters wave St. George’s Cross at football and rugby matches. And at the Commonwealth Games England has its own anthem. Nevertheless, exactly what makes English and British distinct from each other is not at all clear. Other ethnic identities
The peoples of the four nations...
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