Key Points

  • There has been a long tradition of emigration from Scotland, since at least the 19th century. Scots have been mainly ‘economic migrants’ with above-average levels of occupational and educational skills.
  • The Scottish diaspora is an imagined, cultural community based loosely on notions of ancestry and aspiration.
  • The Scottish-American diaspora has more to do with the internal politics of hybrid identity in the USA than to direct Scottish ancestry.
  • In general terms and in that context, how ‘Scotland’ is represented owes far more to Hollywood than to Holyrood.
  • Scots living in England retain a strong sense of being Scottish while retaining a ‘myth of return’. ‘Scotland’ remains the place they call ‘home’.