Student Notes

The key question in this chapter is: what is sociologically interesting about Scotland? What makes it worth studying and writing about? What does sociology add to an understanding of Scotland? The key concept here is ‘society’, or more accurately ‘civil society’. Is Scotland a society, and if so, in what senses?

The chapter asks:

  • Is Scotland a meaningful topic for sociological analysis?
  • What do we mean by concepts such as ‘society’, ‘state’ and ‘nation’?
  • How does the ‘Scottish Enlightenment’ provide a framework of understanding?
  • Is ‘civil society’ a way of understanding Scotland?
  • Do understated nations like Scotland reflect new ways of thinking about society?