National identities and the 2014 independence referendum in Scotland

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Abstract

This paper discusses the 2014 independence referendum in relation to national identities in Scotland. This is done firstly through reflecting on the referendum franchise and then by examining how people's subjective national identities aligned with key political attitudes relevant to the constitutional question. Using survey data, this analysis compares longer term trends with data from the period immediately preceding the referendum vote, and suggests that the campaign may have given rise to a much closer ‘alignment’ between national identities and political attitudes. The concluding discussion suggests that national identities in Scotland may be understood as a series of only partially overlapping and shifting constituencies, based on subjective national belonging, residence, political enfranchisement, political-constitutional attitudes, and people's understanding of and sense of affinity with a (British) social union, and that this concept of ‘social union’ would benefit from further sociological investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-104
Number of pages13
JournalSociological Research Online
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2015

Keywords

  • Scotland
  • national identities
  • referendum
  • surveys
  • political attitudes
  • social union

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