Scottish Migrant Ethnic Identities in the British Empire since the Nineteenth Century

Angela McCarthy

in Scotland and the British Empire

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199573240
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731310 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series

Scottish Migrant Ethnic Identities in the British Empire since the Nineteenth Century

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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Overviews of the British Empire generally neglect to examine migrant ethnic identities, emphasising instead the transition to new homeland identities or Britishness. This chapter, however, argues that Scottishness remained central to the lives of some migrants, be it through public and group expressions or more personal meditations. Religion, freemasonry, ethnic societies, ethnic press, clans, and sports are all examined, together with language and accent, material culture, naming practices, national characteristics, and cross-cultural encounters with indigenous peoples. Regional and local divisions among the Scots are also noted. These aspects are explored comparatively along both geographic and ethnic lines in order to ascertain what was distinctive about Scottish ethnic identities.

Keywords: migration; ethnic identities; associational culture; personal identity; material culture; Scottishness; Britishness; British Empire

Chapter.  10830 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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