Key Points

  • Sport is a powerful means of expressing identities and rivalries; that it can be regarded as ‘war minus the shooting’ (Orwell).
  • Sport in Scotland catalyses national identity, regardless of gender and social class.
  • Despite claims that sport has now been globalised in its appeal and reach, it remains, in the last resort, national and local.
  • Local rivalries are at least the equal of national ones, and convey aspects of identity and belonging, as well as attachments to place.
  • Sport may not be a matter of life and death in literal terms, but matters for all that.