The Auld Enemy

Asifa Hussain and William Miller

in Multicultural Nationalism

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780199280711
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604102 | DOI:
The Auld Enemy

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Questions in the 2003 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey were used to compare Islamophobia with four other Scottish phobias: sectarianism (primarily anti-Catholic), and phobias about Europe, Asylum seekers, and ‘the auld enemy’(England). Social factors affected all phobias the same way, but political factors discriminated. Conservative voters scored low on Anglophobia but high on every other phobia; SNP voters scored high on Anglophobia but not on other phobias. This suggested that Anglophobia itself displaced Islamophobia by providing another target, and that England itself helped reduce within-Scotland phobias by providing Scots with a common, external and very significant ‘other’. Scotland is too small, too peripheral, and too insignificant to play a corresponding role in displacing phobias within England. However, by stimulating English nationalism without providing a truly significant ‘other’, Scottish nationalism may actually increase Islamophobia in England, but not in Scotland.

Keywords: Islamophobia; sectarianism; Anglophobia; displacement; nationalist voters; conservative voters; education; age; generation; significant other

Chapter.  6576 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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