The decline of British national pride

Authors


email: james.tilley@jesus.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

This article examines how national pride has changed in Britain since the beginning of the 1980s. We show that there have been large declines in pride and that this is exclusively generational in nature; with more recent generations having substantially lower levels of pride in ‘Britishness’ than previous generations. Confirming the reality of ‘Thatcher's Children’, we find that this process has been arrested to some extent, with generations coming of age in the 1980s and after having similar levels of pride to their immediate predecessors. We also find large regional disparities in these processes, with substantially bigger differences between new and old generations in Scotland, compared to England and Wales. Although generational differences in England and Wales appear to be generalized across a range of different aspects of nationhood that form citizens' national identity, generational differences in Scotland are more marked for certain types of national pride.

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