This module intends to introduce you to a range of cultural practices in Scotland this weeks session will furnish you with some background, in particular the historical and commercial aspects which relate to how Scotland is portrayed, by herself in most cases, and perceived, in particular by those who are not indigenous to Scotland. This lecture specifically addresses: What is ‘Scotland?’ and more controversially – ‘why bother with Scotland specifically?’ Examining the hazards embedded in any (contemporary) manifestation of nationalism and the complex layers of national identity which make up modern Scotland. Central to this is the question; what does it mean to be a nation in an era of globalisation when we might expect that the physical/geographical bases of marginality may have become increasingly fluid and uncertain.
Introduction to some terms which will re-occur throughout the various sessions. The term ‘Scottish National Identity’ contains two very diverse concepts that of ‘nation’ and ‘identity’, therefore, we have to understand that national identity can encompass a number of different factors and that identity can be ever changing. Culturally Scotland can be shown as a nation/having national identity by its collective history, literature and traditions. Historical information is important because it confirms the root from which Scottish national identity stems. We look at how ideas of heritage problematise identities. will consider what heritage is, and think about this can and does feed our crudely fashioned notions of identity. will look at the importance, both cultural and economic, of heritage in Scotland. will then think about the inherent ‘problem’ of Scottish heritage. we’ll take a look at some recent appropriations of heritage.
Lay to rest some preconceptions
Typical Scots, you may be thinking just now, taking credit for all the things that they didn’t invent. Funny thing is though it is not the Scots taking the credit; it is more all the foreigners who fall for the stereotypes associated with the country. Of course the truth is that there are plenty of things that did originate from Scotland.
With regards to looking at concepts to do with identity it useful to look at the writing of Stuart Hall. He is a cultural theorist and sociologist and discusses the idea of identity as produced rather than retrieved or accomplished. Hall works in the terrain of hybridity, identity, race relations, multiculturalism and the politics of difference. Hall argues that the media both reflects AND constructs our realities
Stuart Hall underlines the idea that identities are narratives (stories) and histories and not single, one-dimensional labels
Relate these theories to Scottish heritage, identity and representations.
As we will see, heritage has been reduced to Tartan-tat.
Professor Tom Devine, a leading Scots historian has launched a bitter attack on Homecoming chiefs for reducing the nation to &quot;tartanry and Highlandism&quot; to please Americans. Devine said that Executive bosses have whitewashed Scotland's history in favour of a &quot;kitsch&quot; Americanised image to &quot;seduce&quot; rich US tourists. He accused Homecoming of failing to connect with the wider Scots diaspora and of presenting an outdated image of Scotland to fit Americans' ideal of the country.
Devine &quot;This highlights one of the biggest tensions in the project - the clash between indigenous Scottish identity in 2009 and Scottish-American identity, and identity that has been forged through invention of tradition, built around tartanry and Highlandism. &quot;In order to facilitate the process of seducing the American audience, the organisers of Homecoming have had to adopt these markers of Scottishness which many Scots today would think of as kitsch.”
EDINBURGH TOILE features neds urinating and vomiting on the iconic statue of Greyriars Bobby
view of a contemporary city, images of hooligans, vagrants and the city’s infamous tramworks Scottish politicians slammed festival bosses for “S e tting out to destroy the reputation of our capital city ”
Tourism clearly is of great economic importance to Scotland, contibuting billions to the annual economy and supporting employment in tourism-related industries
Sir Walter Scott the Scottish historical novelist and poet. He contributed to the reinvention of Scottish culture. His Scottish novels rehabilitated the public perception of Highland culture following years in the shadows because of southern distrust of hill bandits and the Jacobite rebellions. Sir Walter Scott was a Lowland Scot, his re-creations of the Highlands were more than a little fanciful. He invited King George IV to Scotland in 1822 , this was a pivotal event, Scott organised a pageant, and Edinburgh tailors invented numerous &quot;clan tartans&quot;. This plaided pageantry, had a lasting influence, it elevated the tartan kilt to become part of Scotland's national identity.
Here’s an image of Erwin Landseer’s, The Monarch of the Glen (c. 1850) The stag stands with a misty, mountainous landscape behind it. The image is profoundly romantic, it evokes the power of nature , the untamed freedom of the wild and suggestion of nationalist associations with landscape. The painting was sold to John Dewar and Sons distillery and therefore became closely associated with whisky. Dewar’s, hasn’t been the only whiskey to use the Mo narch of the Glen as its logo. The image was also used by Glenfiddich distillery as their logo and advertising identity; it has appeared on bottles, decanters, water jugs, mirrors, bar mats, and TV ad campaign. The company claims the stag image embodies their latest tagline, Th e independent spirit.
Ro ss Sinclair’s artwork address the mythology of Scotland and its contribution to the national identity.
Ro ss Sinclair “ In these various exhibitions I have addressed models of History and Geography, Economics and Faith, Politics and Pedagogy with particular attention to the construction and definition of individual and group identities and experiences - locally, globally, in public, and in private. An important strand of this practice has been developed in a series of exhibitions, which reflect of the meanings of a modern Scottish Identity. ”
The plot of the film if you don’t know it is of two Americans who go on a hunting trip in Scotland become lost. They then find themselves in a small village, which isn’t on the map, called Brigadoon, and in this village people harbour a mysterious secret, and behave as if they were still living two hundred years in the past.
Two polar opposites of what Scotland is like, the quaint, staid Royal Mile with its cobbled streets and Fat Bastard who is a fictional villain from the second and third films in Austin Powers film series. He is played by Mike Myers. Fat Bastard is noted for his foul temper, his frequent flatulence, and his unusual eating habits.
There are a myriad of things which make Scotland distinctive. At the same time, they symbolize the differences between Scotland and England or Britain. Cosidering that Scotland ceased to be a state in 1707. How then does it happen that after so many years Scotland still has so many national institutions and so strong a sense of national identity? Part of the answer is that Scotland had acquired a sense of national identity during the centuries it was an independent nation-state, and the identity survived because a number of specifically Scottish institutions survived. The Tartan Army are a band of roving football fans who travel regularly to watch the Scotland National Football Team, both in Scotland and abroad
Unlike Wales or Ireland, Scotland was not conquered, colonized or annexed. It entered the Union almost as an equal. It was not as rich or as powerful as England, but it had demonstrated in numerous wars that it could not be conquered. In 1707, both parliaments consented to a treaty by which they and their respective states ceased to exist, nominally at any rate. Since Scottish members were added to the parliament at Westminster, and since England's relative power grew, it is not surprising that the English have sometimes forgotten the formal relationship and overemphasized the apparent one. Still, the Treaty of Union did guarantee the preservation of certain of the trappings of the Scottish state. In the late 19th century, at the height of Britain's wealth and power, and of England's domination of both, there was a move to emphasize Britishness and to de-emphasize Scottishness. Some people conscientiously referred to Scotland as a region and addressed letters to &quot;Edinburgh, North Britain.&quot; The most obvious example of culture is language. Of course, it is also true that language has become an issue. In Scotland, Gaelic was common at the time of the Union but is spoken by less than 2 % of the population now. Yet Scotland remains a nation without its language.
Stuart Hall's work on representation and identity includes a theoretical discussion, tracing some of the academic reflections on the role of difference in the ways we make sense of things. Hall outlines four arguments about difference which have something to say about how we perceive and relate to difference.
Different methods of analysing representation. Representation refers to the construction in any medium (especially the mass media) of aspects of ‘reality’ such as people, places, objects, events, cultural identities and other abstract concepts. Such representations may be in speech or writing as well as still or moving pictures. The term refers to the processes involved as well as to its products. For instance, in relation to the key markers of identity - Class, Age, Gender and Ethnicity (the 'cage' of identity) - representation involves not only how identities are represented (or rather constructed) within the text but also how they are constructed in the processes of production and reception by people whose identities are also differentially marked in relation to such demographic factors.
CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT Issues of identity are crucial to postmodernism Postmodernism refutes Modernist goals (universal, natural) Distortions set up by Modernism such as: Historical progress of art, natural, timeless order shattered Linear and singular dispensed, in their place heterogeneity Idealised notion of other cultures, projection of a fantasy of what that culture is (e.g. Gauguin) assumptions With its emphasis on specific identities which challenged formalist beliefs in a universal art (created overwhelmingly by and for a specific demographic group, white, western, heterosexual men of the middle upper class), postmodernism reflect broader social critiques of hierarchies based on ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class. The thematic complex of the body, gender, identity, race etc, all acquired greater significance in art since the 1970s. And as this quote by Owen’s states, we can’t look at identity in isolation, we need therefore to place questions of identity in the context of history, language and power.
Stereotypes cut across or contemporary representations. Despite all the money, the glossy adverts and the brand marketing, Scotland’s international image is personified by the execrable Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons cartoon series. the most offensive, angry, feral, fictional Scotsman ever invented. Think of the worst possible stereotype of the Scot; double it, and you have got Willie — a red-haired, bearded, foul-tempered, incompetent, haggis-eating, testosterone-filled boor
Bhabha’s work breaks with notions of a homogenous national community, all the while collapsing the idea of national identity, authenticity and cultural ownership.
Contemporary artists address stereotype and identity in a variety of ways. The role of the artist in confronting stereotype and racism and effectively using it in art in order to move forward in a process of mending and recovery is articulated by art critic, Lucy Lippard. visual artists employ the stereotype image as a weapon turning it upon itself. Lippard ’s conclusion is that art and artists who address stereotype can ultimately help in a healing process and positive outcome for all people . the claim that in much prominent global art, and here I am particularly referring to the work displayed in the national pavilions at biennale, identities are paraded for the entertainment of cosmopolitan viewers.
She goes on to say…
Irvine Welsh explores in depth the absence of a true Scottish national identity in ‘Trainspotting’. The character Renton displays a great self-loathing of his country, which he views as a nation colonised by the English. Irvine Welsh suggests that the idealised image of 'Scotland the Brave' is a false heritage, a sentimentalised and perpetuated vision of Scotland. The theme of the Scottish scenery, dramatic mountains, windswept moors, and shimmering lochs is reflected in the various representations of the Scottish landscape, a domain of political and environmental struggle, and of mythic renewal. This is the untamed landscape…Trainspotting junkies and their retreat to the wilderness, to the remote heathery moor. This notion of re-establishing a connection with the landscape is one that recurs with the Highlands as a place of healing where you can renew yourself, escaping from the ‘contemporary’ world.
More reflective of reality? It certainly refutes the notion of all Scots being passionate and proud of their country and problematises the notions of ‘Romantic Tourism’ and a particular heritage which is proliferated.
The expression of national identity, as well as national consciousness and loyalty to the nation are elements covered by the umbrella term Nationalism . BP first discovered oil in the North Sea in 1970 and the &quot;It's Scotland's Oil&quot; campaign began in 1972 The British Government was aware of the huge wealth of North Sea Oil; of the political implications; and that Scottish independence was not only theoretically possible but economically desirable: National pride had been hugely galvanised by the appearance of the Scotland Football Team in the 1974 World Cup, a competition for which the England side had failed to qualify. But economically, the outlook was bleak. Heavy manufacturing, which had been the heart and soul of the Scottish economy for generations, was in deep trouble. Between 1970 and 1974 the number of coal mines in Scotland fell by a third, while steel production plunged by a fifth. Shipbuilding, the mainstay of the Clyde, was in particular trouble. After the Heath government refused to bail out four yards in Upper Clyde in 1971, trade unionists staged a work-in and occupied the yards. Some 70,000 people marched calling for government help and a 48-hour strike by other workers brought out more than 100,000 in support. Meanwhile, in politics, the nationalists were riding high as never before. The 1970 general election saw the SNP poll just 11.4 per cent of the vote and one seat. But in February 1974 they scored 21.9 per cent and won seven seats. Within eight months, by the October election of that year, their support had risen to the all-time high of 30.4 per cent of the vote, and 11 seats. The party was also nipping at the heels of Labour in 34 other Labour-held seats. This was the high tide of Scottish nationalism. Previously unheard of would-be terrorist cells began to emerge: The &quot;Scottish Legion&quot;, &quot;Jacobites&quot;, &quot;Border Clan&quot;, 'Tartan Army&quot; and the &quot;100 Organisation&quot;, which took its name from the famous historic Declaration of Arbroath, stating: &quot;So long as 100 of us remain alive we will never submit to English rule.&quot; John McGrath was the artistic director of 7:84 Theatre Company in the 1970s. He wrote one of their best known plays 'The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil.' This was first performed in 1973. 7:84 toured Scotland with this musical drama which told the story of economic change in the Scottish Highlands, from the Highland Clearances in the early 19th century through to the oil boom of the 1970s.
Th e establishment of the new Scottish parliament and the consequences of devolution for both Scotland and Wales provide a new meaning to the question of ‘national unity’. The break-up of Britain argued for by Tom Nairn (1979) has, to some extent, happened, overseen by New Labour and without political trauma. Anxieties about national belonging and unity continue unabated however, now inflected along the lines of ‘multi-culture’. It is important to think in terms of national identity in light of debate about national consciousness and cultural coherence in a recently devolved country.
Interrogates the sudden popularity and authenticity of such representations of Scotland on screen. The immediate and universal success of Hollywood productions of Brave Heart and, previously, Rob Roy, poses unavoidable questions regarding their debatable political message, focussing as they do, on ‘fantastic figures, super-human, super-ethnic, and super-masculine, and ultimately a bit absurd.’ Sir Walter Scott’s portrayals of the Highlands in his nineteenth century novels such as ‘Rob-Roy’, have a lot to do with the romantic take on eighteenth century Scotland now widely held. The Highlands were seen as ‘old Scotia in its purest form’, untouched and beautiful. Sir Walter Scott the Scottish historical novelist and poet. He contributed to the reinvention of Scottish culture. His Scottish novels rehabilitated the public perception of Highland culture following years in the shadows because of southern distrust of hill bandits and the Jacobite rebellions. Sir Walter Scott was a Lowland Scot, his re-creations of the Highlands were more than a little fanciful. He invited King George IV to Scotland in 1822 , this was a pivotal event, Scott organised a pageant, and Edinburgh tailors invented numerous &quot;clan tartans&quot;. This plaided pageantry, had a lasting influence, it elevated the tartan kilt to become part of Scotland's national identity. Tartan and Plaid is the traditional national dress it has had a very complicated history of first being repressed then stolen for military dress and then Anglicised and reinvented as fashionable dress.
. The stereotypes carry the excessive, enlarged characteristics described by Bhabha . (Rab C. Nesbitt; drunk, dishevelled, wearing a string vest) their comic productivity creates cultural openness , new way of being engaged with. What are the social and political effects of comedy? Th ey use as their raw material understanding of how the stereotype has worked in the past as an attempt at fixity, how it has circulated and found a certain familiarity. Made to re-signify and talk back, these counter-stereotypes are played back to a mixed audience of viewers ⒊ p114 They have the capacity for producing new and expanded meaning in relation to national and transnational identity. Their writers are producing popular texts which articulate with many of the dynamics of cultural theory thus showing also the potential for widening the sphere of critical engagement from a position of marginality or obliqueness. P114
Angela McRobbie’s reading of Homi Bhabha.
The White Heather Club was a BBC TV Scottish variety show that ran on and off from May 7, 1958 to 1968.
Terms for the Day <ul><li>Identity </li></ul><ul><li>Heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Representation </li></ul><ul><li>Nationalism </li></ul><ul><li>Parochialism </li></ul><ul><li>Devolution </li></ul>
A brief look at some of the things associated with Scotland that were not even Scottish in the first place The name Scotland comes from a Celtic tribe from Ireland known as the Scoti. They arrived in what the Romans called Caledonia in the 5th century; by the 11th century they had ‘taken over’ the whole of the mainland and started to call it Scotland. While on this subject; the patron saint of Scotland, ‘Saint Andrew’, was Greek.
Whisky Whisky originates from China and arrived in Ireland long before arriving in Scotland. The name coming from the Irish translation of the Latin for ‘water of life’. A brief look at some of the things associated with Scotland that were not even Scottish in the first place
A brief look at some of the things associated with Scotland that were not even Scottish in the first place Porridge Porridge has actually been found in the stomachs of 5,000 year old Neolithic bog bodies in Scandinavia. Dating it many many years before it was first tasted in Scotland.
A brief look at some of the things associated with Scotland that were not even Scottish in the first place Bagpipes Bagpipes were invented in Central Asia and are so ancient they are even mentioned in the Old Testament and in the Greek poetry of the 4th century BC. It was probably the Romans that first brought them to Britain.
A brief look at some of the things associated with Scotland that were not even Scottish in the first place Kilt The kilt was actually invented by the Irish and it took its name from Denmark (kilte op: tuck up)
A brief look at some of the things associated with Scotland that were not even Scottish in the first place Tartan The elaborate system of clan tartans only came about from the early parts of the 19th century. The fact is that, although originally Scottish, all Highland dress was banned after the 1745 rebellion. It wasn’t until English garrison regiments started to design their own in the early 19th century that the craze started again.
A brief look at some of the things associated with Scotland that were not even Scottish in the first place Haggis Haggis was actually a Greek sausage in ancient times. It is even mentioned in ‘The Clouds’ by Aristophanes in 423BC. http://socyberty.com/society/scottish-stereotypes-that-arent-even-scottish/
“ Identity is not as transparent or unproblematic as we think. Perhaps, instead of thinking of identity as an already accomplished historical fact…we should think, instead of identity as a “production,” which is never complete, always in process, and always constituted within, not outside representation” Stuart Hall, Cultural Identity and Cinematic Representation in Framework 36 (1989): 68-81 Identity
“ I was aware of the fact that identity is an invention from the very beginning, long before I understood any of this theoretically. Identity is formed at the unstable point where the ‘unspeakable’ stories of subjectivity meet the narratives of history, of a culture.” Stuart Hall Identity
<ul><li>In addition to identity coming from specific historical experiences, Hall writes, “I believe it is an immensely important gain when one recognizes that all identity is constructed across difference and begins to live with the politics of difference.” </li></ul><ul><li>When people use the term “identity” or place themselves within a pre-existing “identity group” that they are working off of an imagined and constructed set of ideas – a fiction. This is not to say that these fictions of identity don’t have real, tangible effects on our lives. </li></ul><ul><li>Hall goes on to state how a “recognition of difference, of the impossibility of ‘identity’ in its fully unified meaning, does, of course, transform our sense of what politics is about” </li></ul>Identity
Heritage “ Heritage is a thoroughly modern concept… We have constructed heritage because we have a cultural need to do so in our modern age. Heritage is a condition of the late twentieth century… the extraordinary phenomenon through which the past is opened not only to reconstruction but invention.” McCrone, D. et al, Scotland the Brand: the making of Scottish Heritage (Edinburgh, 1995), pg.1
What is heritage? <ul><li>Heritage is: </li></ul><ul><li>Not history (and for some, history’s polar opposite) </li></ul><ul><li>Both material (listed buildings, protected landscapes, precious objects) and conceptual (shared memory, myth, beliefs about the past) </li></ul><ul><li>A way of shaping the available past to the needs of the present </li></ul><ul><li>An officially defined, policed and protected national construct (Historic Scotland, Scottish National Trust, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>The shared inheritance from the past </li></ul>
What is heritage? <ul><li>For some observers, heritage is a symbol and symptom of cultural decline and sickness </li></ul><ul><li>For others, it is a invaluable source of cultural pride, strength and self-knowledge </li></ul>
What is heritage? Professor Tom Devine, head of Edinburgh University's Scottish Centre of Diaspora Studies, said Homecoming is built on the "Burns supper school of Scottish history".
What is heritage? <ul><li>Heritage is: </li></ul><ul><li>A carefully selective engagement with the past </li></ul><ul><li>A way of making the past coherent, manageable and meaningful </li></ul><ul><li>A comparatively recent form of leisure pursuit and culture </li></ul><ul><li>Something asserted as belonging uniquely to ‘us’, but which in practice is often used by ‘them’ </li></ul>
Heritage conservation Glasgow design firm ‘Timorous beastie’ were commissioned by the Edinburgh International Festival
The importance (cultural and economic) of heritage in Scotland
The importance (cultural and economic) of heritage in Scotland “ To put it simply, the whole idea of heritage has its origins in nineteenth-century Scotland and the revolution in the writing of history brought about by Sir Walter Scott… We might even argue that Scotland suffers from too much heritage rather than too little…” McCrone, D. et al, Scotland the Brand: the making of Scottish Heritage (Edinburgh, 1995), pg. 4
The importance (cultural and economic) of heritage in Scotland Henry Raeburn, Sir Walter Scott (1822) “ O Caledonia! stern and wild/Meet nurse for a poetic child!/ Land of brown heath and shaggy wood/ Land of the mountain and the flood!” Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805)
The importance (cultural and economic) of heritage in Scotland It is vital to understand Scott’s importance not simply as the creator of a dominant modern idea(l) of a specifically Scottish history and heritage, but also as a important influence over modern understandings of history and heritage per se (‘The past is a foreign country’). Henry Raeburn, Portrait of Colonel Alasdair Mcdonnell of Glengarry (1812)
The importance (cultural and economic) of heritage in Scotland <ul><li>Key tropes in Scott’s historical thought: </li></ul><ul><li>Romantic regret </li></ul><ul><li>Inevitability of ‘Progress’ </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence of/artefacts from the past are always on the verge of total extinction </li></ul><ul><li>Past = diversity, identity </li></ul><ul><li>Present = homogeneity, anonymity. </li></ul><ul><li>History as spectacle </li></ul><ul><li>The benefits of progress always just outweigh the disadvantages (no turning back) </li></ul>Horatio McCulloch, Glencoe (1864)
Edwin Landseer, The Monarch of the Glen (c. 1850) The ‘problem’ of Scottish heritage
The ‘problem’ of Scottish heritage Irrelevance “ [The classic tourist image of Scotland as Highland] is a view of Scotland that is highly selective in three senses. First, it portrays landscapes of highland and rural areas that are inhabited by only a tiny fraction of the Scottish population. Secondly, it depicts a society with a social and occupational structure that is quite different from elsewhere in Scotland. Finally, it shows a country that masquerades as being timeless and unchanging. In all three senses, there is precious little attempt to show the ‘other Scotland’ that is the demographic and economic heart of the nation. Indeed, the rest of the nation remains nigh-invisible as part of the enterprise of selling Scotland.” Gold, J. R. & Gold, M., Imagining Scotland: Tradition, Representation and Promotion in Scottish Tourism Since 1750 (Scholar Press, 1995), pg. 7
“ In the spring of 1953 the Hollywood producer Arthur Freed paid a visit to Scotland. When we met in Edinburgh he told me he wanted to find a village in the Highlands which could look unchanged with its inhabitants just awakened after the passage of a hundred years… He insisted on seeing Brig-O’-Doon [in the Ayrshire town of Alloway], although I assured him it had nothing to do with the Highlands. Then Arthur Freed went back to Hollywood and declared: ‘I went to Scotland but I could find nothing that looked like Scotland’. He was, of course, preparing to produce Brigadoon which has become the archetypical film of a bogus Scotland.” Forsyth Hardy, Scotland in Film (Edinburgh: EUP, 1990), pg. 1. The ‘problem’ of Scottish heritage
The ‘problem’ of Scottish heritage <ul><li>Of course, most developed nations have images and stereotypes they construct and conserve for touristic purposes. </li></ul><ul><li>Some argue, however, that what makes Scotland distinctive is that the best-known image of the country is as a space waiting explicitly for tourist discovery (as in Brigadoon ). There are, the argument goes, no alternatives for the natives… </li></ul>
The ‘problem’ of Scottish heritage “ Despite the frequent assertions of tourists… that they want to see ‘real’ life, they usually do not. Instead they are in search of a culturally created ideal of an attraction…” Grenier Haldane, K., Tourism and Identity in Scotland 1770-1914: Creating Caledonia (Aldershot, 2005), pg. 216.
The ‘problem’ of Scottish heritage “ Indeed it sometimes seems at times as if Scotland exists only as heritage: what singles it out for distinction is the trappings of its past while its modernity seems to make it little different from elsewhere… If Scotland is heritage-rich, then that could be because it has a past but not a present or a future.” McCrone, D. et al, Scotland - The Brand: The Making of Scottish Heritage (Edinburgh, 1995), pp. 5-6.
The ‘problem’ of Scottish heritage Cobbles on the Royal Mile ‘ Fat Bastard’ from Austin Powers movie
We hate Coca Cola We Hate Fanta too (it's shite) Were the Tartan Army And we drink Irn Bru Domestic appropriations of heritage
Why does 'difference' matter? Stuart Hall (1997) "The Spectacle of the 'Other'," in Stuart Hall (Ed.) Representations. Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London: Sage and The Open University, pp. 223-279 The anthropological argument posits that each culture gives meaning by classifying things. Classification means emphasizing the difference, meaning that when you classify something there is a principle according to which you decide it is different or similar - so it has to go into this class of things. The idea here is that difference is created by those principles of classifications (those things which you highlight as central to defining). Though it makes it look like those principles are 'natural', 'logical' and 'immutable', they are in fact social conventions Nationalism
<ul><li>The irony is that the commodification, presentation and organisation of Scotland as a pre-modern wilderness for an international tourist audience is dependent on the achievement of modernity in a whole range of fields. </li></ul><ul><li>In other words, you have to be really up-to-date to present yourself so effectively as backward. </li></ul>The importance (cultural and economic) of heritage in Scotland
Representation <ul><li>Semiotics and content analysis are the main methods of formal analysis of representation </li></ul><ul><li>Representation always involves 'the construction of reality’ </li></ul><ul><li>All texts, however 'realistic' they may seem to be, are constructed representations rather than simply transparent 'reflections', recordings, transcriptions or reproductions of a pre-existing reality </li></ul><ul><li>Representations which become familiar through constant re-use come to feel 'natural' and unmediated </li></ul>
Representation <ul><li>Representations require interpretation - we make modality judgments about them </li></ul><ul><li>Representation is unavoidably selective, foregrounding some things and back-grounding others </li></ul><ul><li>Realists focus on the 'correspondence' of representations to 'objective' reality (in terms of 'truth', 'accuracy' and 'distortion'), whereas constructivists focus on whose realities are being represented and whose are being denied </li></ul><ul><li>Both structuralist and poststructuralist theories lead to 'reality' and 'truth' being regarded as the products of particular systems of representation - every representation is motivated and historically contingent </li></ul><ul><li>Alvarado, Manuel, Robin Gutch & Tana Wollen (1987) Learning the Media. London: Macmillan </li></ul>
REPRESENTATION IS NOT NEUTRAL; IT IS AN ACT OF POWER IN OUR CULTURE. Craig Owens, 1992
A key in the study of representation concern is with the way in which representations are made to seem ‘natural’. Systems of representation are the means by which the concerns of ideologies are framed; such systems ‘position’ their subjects. Representation
Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture, 1994 Identity Homi K. Bhabha (1948-) Post-colonial writer, rethinks questions of identity and national affiliations.
Identity “ If we describe Bhabha’s work as antithetical to fixity and to the rigidities of normative categorisations, then it is inevitable that he, like Stuart Hall, considers identity as being simultaneously defined in terms of unfulfillment and lack (following Lacan) and also of ‘more than’ the sociological and empirical realities of sex, class and ethnicity. ” Mc Robbie, A. (2005) The Uses of Cultural Studies , Sage Publications, London, P100
“ So what does it take to turn a stereotype around, to undermine a commonly assumed ‘r ealism ’? The options for breaking patterns, reversing stigmas, and conceiving a new and more just world picture are many and multifaceted. They range from opening wounds, to seeking revenge through representation, to reversing destructive developments so the healing process can begin. To turn a stereotype around, it is necessary to be extreme, to depart from, rather than merely engage with, accepted norms and romanticized aspirations. Stereotypes have the borrowed power of the real, even when they are turned around in the form of positive images by those trying to regain their pasts. It is necessary to depart from stereotype in two senses-to take off from it and finally to leave it behind.” Representation
The effective turnaround is a doubling back rather than a collusion or a dispersion. It can be an unexpectedly vicious dig in the ribs indicating that the joke ’s on you, or a double vision that allows different cultures to understand each other even as they speak in different ways. Transformation of self and society is finally the aim of all this mobile work that spins the status quo around. While irony, with its tinge of bitterness as well as humor, is the prevalent instrument, another is healing, in which the artist, as neo-shaman, heals her or himself, as a microcosm of society.”(Lippard 241) Representation
Still from the film ‘Trainspotting’ (1996) directed by Danny Boyle based on the novel ‘Trainspotting’ by Irvine Welsh. Identity
“ It's SHITE being Scottish! We're the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched miserable servile pathetic trash that was ever shat on civilization. Some people hate the English. I don't. They're just wankers. We, on the other hand, are colonized by wankers. Can't even find a decent culture to get colonized by. We're ruled by effete assholes. It's a shite state of affairs to be in and all the fresh air in the world won't make any fucking difference!” Identity
The politics of the image Bhabha challenges work done in the field of media and cultural studies on sexual and racial difference in Hollywood cinema which understands the stereotype as a point of fixity and security of meaning. He refutes that the stereotype is a simplification, and argues for its complexity and argues for its centrality to the practices of colonial governmentality, and also because it asserts the centrality of ‘visual and auditory’ imaginary for the histories of society. Bhabha’s ‘The Other Question’ from 1983 revised and reprinted in ‘The Location of Culture’ (1994). Nationalism
Consider th e extent to which within the field of everyday culture, and especially in film and tv, the stereotype has become an instrument for new modes of self representation which ‘talk back’ against those forces which are perceived as having previously utilised this device as a strategy for knowledge and control. Mc Robbie, A. (2005) The Uses of Cultural Studies , Sage Publications, London Domestic appropriations of heritage
Domestic appropriations of heritage Nab C. Nesbitt Chewin the Fat
Representation Stereotypes: Bh abha argues that the stereotype is a form of knowledge about ‘the other’, but far from securing certainty it in fact betrays the instability and uncertainty of relations between the powerful coloniser and the powerless colonised, thus what we know about the Irish, the Asian, the African needs to be anxiously ad endlessly repeated; it must forever circulate in culture. Hence the repetition across time and space of the jokes made about the ‘stupid Irish’, the ‘duplicitous Asian’, the sexuality of the black male …t he excessively drunken Scots. (McRobbie, P109)
“ It is the fear and the fascination of the coloniser which compels the construction of the racial stereotype. This makes the stereotype a ‘complex, ambivalent, contradictory mode of representation’. But this is also a means of seeking legitimation. If the stereotype shows the other to be degenerate then it can be claimed that others are incapable of self-rule (the feckless Irish, the drunken Scot). The stereotype is then a critical instrument of government, it renders others knowable in such a way as to justify the superiority of the coloniser. ” (McRobbie, P110) Representation
The White Heather Club, Andy Stewart and Moira Anderson sit uncomfortably with the modern Scot. Representation