The Glass Half Full: Moving Beyond Scottish Miserablism

David Manderson, Eleanor Yule

Research output: Book/ReportBook


A self-help book for the Scottish psyche

Cultural Miserablism: the power of the negative story with no redemption and no escape, that wallows in its own bleakness.

Scotland is a small and immensely creative country. The role of the arts and culture is one that many are rightly proud of. But do we portray Scotland in the light we should?

There is a tendency in film, literature and other cultural output to portray the negative aspects of Scottish life. In The Glass Half Full, filmmaker Eleanor Yule and academic David Manderson explore the origins of this bleak take on Scottish life, its literary and cultural expressions, and how this phenomenon in film has risen to the level of a genre which audiences both domestic and international see as a recognisable story of contemporary Scotland.

What does miserablism tell us about ourselves? When did we become cultural victims? Is it time we move away from an image of Scotland that constantly casts itself as the poor relation?

From the Trainspotting to the Kailyard, The Glass Half Full confronts the negative Scotland we portray not only to the world but, most importantly, ourselves.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherLuath Press
Number of pages144
ISBN (Electronic)9781910324165
ISBN (Print)9781910021347
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


  • self-help, identity


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