Narratives of Identity: Locating National Identity in the Public’s Discourse

Murrey Stewart Leith and Daniel P. J. Soule

in Political Discourse and National Identity in Scotland

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780748637362
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652914 | DOI:
Narratives of Identity: Locating National Identity in the Public’s Discourse

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To examine how members of the nation enact their individual nationalism, this chapter focuses on discourses of ‘the daily plebiscite’. Enabled by electronic media and the internet, it examines the language of an online public discussion of a newspaper article. The chapter looks at some of the ways in which nationalism operates as an everyday discursive phenomenon, as well as the variety of idiosyncratic imaginings that individuals enact. It develops Michael Billig’s banal nationalism analytic, exploring how the homeland is ‘flagged’ daily in the popular print press. The chapter draws a more nuanced picture of how national identity can be discursively ‘flagged’, going beyond simple grammatical deixis, and demonstrating an absence of civic and pluralistic instantiations of Scottish national identity in the public as discourse.

Keywords: Michael Biling; individual nationalism; online public discussion; nationalism; banal nationalism

Chapter.  8559 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: UK Politics

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