Radge politics: satire and Scottish identity

Carolina Silveira, Murray Leith, John Quinn, Rachael Flynn

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Britain has divisively entered an age of identity politics that is increasingly politicising Scottish identity. Amidst debates between the ever more polarized ‘BetterTogethers’ and ‘Yes’ voters, ‘Bremainers’ and ‘Brexiters’, national identity emerges as a central issue. In this political climate, analysing the representation and construction of Scottish identity in Scottish media is more important than ever. This study looks at the political role of television comedy and the forms of Scottish national identity it constructs. The topic is addressed through an analysis of the election special edition of Gary: Tank Commander, aired on BBC Two Scotland in April 2016. Grounded in constructivist and discursive theories of identity, this paper combines multimodality and critical discourse analysis methods to elicit understandings of how the show signifies ideas and values about Scottish-ness. The study identifies three reoccurring themes in its analysis: the subversion of military masculinity and patriotism; the Scottish accent as a marker and creator of national identity and class; and the use of humour for the construction of political and national identity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2017
EventThe 67th Political Studies Association Annual International Conference: Politics in Interesting Times - University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Apr 201712 Apr 2017


ConferenceThe 67th Political Studies Association Annual International Conference
Abbreviated title67th PSA Annual International Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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