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Claiming national identity

[journal article]

McCrone, David; Bechhofer, Frank

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Abstract Using data from the British and Scottish Social Attitudes surveys 2006, this article examines the willingness of people living and born in England and Scotland to accept or reject claims to national identity made by those living in but not born in the appropriate territory. It compares the way claims employing key markers, notably birthplace, accent, parentage, and 'race' are received in the two countries. It is a significant finding that the results for the two countries do not differ greatly. National identity, thinking of oneself as 'exclusively national', is the critical criterion explaining the extent to which respondents reject claims, while there is a modest educational effect, if the respondent does not have a university degree. National identity is not to be equated with citizenship but involves cultural markers of birth, ancestry, and accent as well as residence. Understanding how people identify and use markers of national identity is not as straightforward as politicians in particular believe and imply.
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Free Keywords national identity claims; identity markers; English; Scottish; British; race
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 921-948
Journal Ethnic and Racial Studies, 33 (2010) 6
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)