While domestic articulations of Scottish identity have become a shifting and complex arena for political discourse (Sime, 2020), many North American pop-culture articulations of Scottishness adopt a more stereotypical mode of representation. Enter Drew McIntyre, The Scottish Warrior of WWE fame. During his most recent push with the WWE, the performance of McIntyre's identity has (re)deployed symbolic ethnicity (Gans, 1979) as a prominent marker of his Scottishness. This is nothing new in the world of professional wrestling, where such markers have long been used to define and articulate performed identities as special or unique (see Horton, 2018). Yet, by voluntarily drawing upon, and amplifying, iconic elements of Scottish culture, such as Tartanry, Kailyard and Clydesideism, McIntyre's Scottishness has become simultaneously authentic and inauthentic in nature. Turner (2014) relates this discursive effect to the mediating of the celebrity over the recognition of the individuated self. In reducing McIntyre to a series of mediated ethnic symbols, WWE produces an objectified version of McIntyre, The Scottish Warrior, which functions as a celebrity-commodity that has converted McIntyre into a product for exchange (Marshall, 2021). As such, and by means of a case study of the mediascape surrounding McIntyre's recent WWE championship run, the proposed article will explore how WWE use symbolic ethnicity in the construction of The Scottish Warrior as an easily communicable celebrity-commodity, unpacking the intersection of ethnicity, symbolism and (in)authenticity in the commodification of Andrew Galloway.
|Accepted/In press - 7 Feb 2023
- symbolic identity