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Summary. A random sample of children aged 6–11 in four Glasgow schools was interviewed and tested, two situated in middle-class and two in working-class districts. The formation of concepts relating the series of units Glasgow-Scotland-Britain is traced in terms of both verbal formulation and spatial representation. The difficulty for younger children of such concepts as ‘town’ and ‘country’ is demonstrated. The emergence of national identification is described, indicating the major sources of initial confusion.