Tanja Bueltmann

in Scottish Ethnicity and the Making of New Zealand Society, 1850-1930

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780748641550
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653553 | DOI:

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This chapter presents some concluding thoughts from the author. The current study has highlighted that national origins are not necessarily the key to understanding ethnic identity: a large number of Scots in New Zealand opted for a circumstantial/instrumental interpretation of their Scottish identity. That is, they actively created a celebratory, social Scottishness which drew upon national symbols; they did so in a fully conscious act of manufacture. These Scots became members of associations because they wished to recreate the life of the old country; perhaps melancholy and longing lay behind the desire to wallow in memories of ‘auld Scotia’. At the same time, however, associations and the activities they promoted also served a series of immediate functions. These depended on the level of involvement, and ranged from the provision of entertainment and conviviality to much more practical benefits, for instance in the form of patronage or employment opportunities. The activities of the Scots also came to reflect a wider and deeper Scottish contribution to the development of New Zealand society. The main activities promoted by Scots were inclusive New Zealand community events, opening Scottish culture to the colony. Together with the strong Scottish influence in religion, education and New Zealand politics, this ensured that, gradually, Scottish culture was normalised, becoming integral to New Zealand culture.

Keywords: Scottish identity; ethnic identity; New Zealand; associations; Scottish culture

Chapter.  4959 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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