The markers and rules of Scottish national identity



This article examines how people set about the task of national identity construction and maintenance in the context of a study of landed and arts elites in Scotland. With reference to our empirical material throughout, we outline the key national identity processes: claim, attribution and the receipt of claims and attributions. Central to these are identity markers and rules. Identity markers are those social characteristics presented to others to support a national identity claim and looked to in others, either to attribute national identity, or receive and assess any claims or attributions made. Identity rules are probabilistic rules of thumb, guidelines to how these identity markers are interpreted, combined or given precedence over others within these three processes. Particular attention is given to identity rules, and consideration of the contexts in which they are adhered to or transgressed.