Changing Claims in Context: National Identity Revisited

Frank Bechhofer, David McCrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article re-examines how willing the English and Scots are to accept or reject claims to respective national identities by people born elsewhere. A previous paper showed, counter-intuitively, that people in the two countries were similar in their willingness to accept claims to national identity. Since then, different political parties are in power in England and Scotland, with differing policies and attitudes to identity. Have the original findings changed in the context of this significant political change? We conclude that the English and Scots continue to be similar on accepting or rejecting claims. However, they have diverged with regard to claims by white people, with national identity a less important explanatory variable than education in Scotland, whereas in England it remains the determining factor. For claims by non-whites, the two societies have become more similar. Education remains in Scotland, and to a considerable extent in England, the more important explanatory variable.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Early online date25 May 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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