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Britain in a global context


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Britain in a global context

  1. 1. Week 9: Britain in a Global Context A presentation By Liv and Mani
  2. 2. A Natural Confusion -There is confusion as to what constitutes being English and how closely aligned this is with ‘Britishness’ or being British -In the 1800s, just over 50% of the UK’s population were English — this has increased to four fifth of the population ( N Davies 1999) -Britain has become more diversified in terms of the social divisions that lie in societal structures today — for example, race, religion, class and so on. Society becomes stratified -But ‘these are particular exceptions to the general rule, which is to see all the major events and achievements of national life as English.’ - p.g. 2
  3. 3. Britain and the British -Location and accent or language are key characteristics in identifying Britishness - There is supposed coldness towards the term British — as there are now nationalist movements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — a political conflict — ‘The use of “England” except for a geographic area, brings protests, especially from the Scots’ - The British Broadcasting Corporation is abbreviated to BBC to conveniently help the English and the foreigners, to ignore the fact that it was headed by a Scottish individual — we may often associate the BBC with British culture.
  4. 4. Historical context - Historically, ‘Britain seems to be the most ancient of the relevant terms. It was first recorded by the Greeks of the fourth century BC as the name of the Celts who lived in Western Europe’s largest off-shore island.’ — p.g 5 - ‘When the Angles and the Saxons invaded the islands in the fifth century AD, they did not associate themselves with Britannia or its inhabitants, they've called the piece of the island they settled ‘Engla-land’, and ignored the rest.’ - ‘James I proclaimed himself king of ‘Great Britain’, in efforts to promote Britain as an overarching identity - Charles II(1665), ‘ tried to reconcile the Scots and English, he did this by replacing the old emotive names England and Scotland with South Britain and North Britain, with the overall framework of ‘Great Britain’ — arguably this is still prominent in society today. - Although Great Britain may seem unified, it is clearly identified by its surrounding regions, segregated (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland— ‘Four kingdoms p.g. 14)
  5. 5. Summary In summary, K Kumar explores the interchangeability of the relationship between being British and English. He seeks to defend the modernist view of England and to describe and explain English modern nationalism In order to understand the definitions of ‘British’ and ‘English’, we must consider the historical context of Great Britain to identify how the connotations of the definitions have changed and have debatably become pejorated.