Key Points

  • National identity in Scotland is ubiquitous, but usually implicit and taken-for-granted.
  • People in Scotland give priority to their ‘national’ (Scottish) identity over their ‘state’ (British) identity without denying or undervaluing the latter.
  • While ‘politics’ is an important context for expressing Scottish national identity, it is not the only one, and usually of low salience. If anything, ‘culture’ matters more than ‘politics’.
  • Judging claims to national identity puts a small premium on matters of ‘race’ and ethnicity, but issues of birthplace and accent matter more in getting one’s claim to being Scottish accepted.
  • National identity involves ‘othering’, defining oneself vis-à-vis others. Scots judge the Irish to be people most like them, but there is little ‘othering’ of the English.