Second Generation Identities: The Scottish Diaspora in England

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Scotland has often had an almost absent relationship with its diaspora, with expatriate Scots often viewed from the 'homeland' as being 'more Scottish than the Scots'. Expatriate Scottish identities are not only strong, but may be rooted in an overly romantic view of Scotland. Most research into the Scottish diaspora, however, has focused on North America and Australasia, although a diaspora exists much nearer home, elsewhere in the UK. Limited previous work suggests that the Scottish diaspora in England does not adopt the overly romantic view of Scotland characteristic of North American Scots and indeed, there is evidence that feelings of Scottish identity begin to fade within a generation of emigration to England. There is also evidence that Scottish organisations within England are declining. This paper therefore explores the continuing sense of a Scottish identity within the Scottish diaspora in England, through a series of interviews exploring the identities of second-generation 'Scots' - the offspring of Scottish migrants. The findings suggest that Scottish identity does indeed appear to weaken quite quickly in contrast to the overseas experience, perhaps because proximity to Scotland means that the preservation of an expatriate identity is considered to be relatively unimportant.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSociological Research Online
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2012


  • Scottish
  • Diaspora
  • National Identity
  • England
  • Symbolic Ethnicity


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