The origins of Scottish nationalism and Scottish identity building have been based on “civic identity”. The Scottish National Party (SNP) is now trying to tie the Scottish national identity to a European pluralist and democratic system. It is also trying to tie the Scottish national identity to civil justice and civil liberties. Scottish identity is directly related to the European Union’s (EU) efforts to empower the countries in this union. Sturgeon has tried to rearrange Scottish identity based on “EU values”.
According to Britannica, one of the most important aspects of a child’s emotional development is the formation of identity. Self-concept or identity is the person’s sense of who they are and what their relation to other people is. As cited in Stanford, identity is “people’s concepts of who they are, of what sort of people they are, and how they relate to others” (Hogg and Abrams 1988, 2).
A person’s national identity is a type of assessment. It is the person’s assessment of their identity regarding the country or countries with which they feel an affiliation. This definition is from Scotland’S Census. This assessment of identity is not dependent on legal nationality or ethnic group. According to Scotland’s Census, national identity is not tied to ethnicity or country of birth. A foreign citizen living in Scotland is free to choose ‘Scottish’ as their national identity.
According to the Center on Constitutional change, national identity is not a fixed label. Identity is not a ‘thing’ that people have or don’t have, or aspire to. People have an active part in manufacturing who they are; they are active participants, rather than inactive citizens.
Nationalism and national identity in Scotland
According to the BBC, Sir John Curtice, Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University, states that nationalism ‘means something different in Scotland. The BBC survey of national identity shows national identity in Scotland is different from that in England. A strong sense of British identity is less widespread in Scotland than elsewhere in Britain. In this survey, as many as 61% said they felt “very strongly” Scottish. This shows that Scottish identity building is moving away from British identity.
As it says in IGI Global, civic identity involves the formation and negotiation of personal and group identities. Civic identity deals with group identities as they relate to presence, role, and participation in public life. It includes experiences, beliefs, and emotions about membership, rights, and participation in self-governing activities.
According to Andrew Mycock (from Huddersfield University), originally Scotland was a civic national territory with recognized borders. It had all the trappings of statehood, including separate education and legal systems, banking and professional bodies. I had civil service and a legislature established before the union of 1707. As it says in the Center on Constitutional change, national identity in Scotland is based on ‘civic’ rather than ‘ethnic’ criteria. This is not a claim for moral superiority so much as a fact of historic life.
Scottish national identity distinct from British nationality
Studies and surveys below show that British identity does not influence Scottish identity building. As it says in Center on Constitutional change, David McCrone analyses the politics of national identity in Scotland. He compares it to England’s sense of national identity in the Oxford Handbook of Scottish Politics. It seems true that national identity defines Scottish politics. The rise of the SNP and increasing support for Independence seem to show the importance of national identity.
As Andrew Mycock says, for some people, the SNP now promotes a non-ethnicized, territorially located ‘clearly civic’ Scottish nationalism. The SNP now seeks to establish a Scottish nation-state. Claire Breniaux surveyed Scottish youths. The report of the survey is available in the journal “Observatoire de la société britannique”. This is a journal of British area studies.
The survey showed that a huge majority of Scottish youths see the UK as a union of un-equals. They believed that the UK is exclusive, not progressive, and Scotland’s voice is not heard enough. They campaign for Scottish independence for achieving self-determination, social democratic values, and social democracy. This shows that Scottish youths prefer to have their national identity as distinct from British identity.
SNP and Scottish identity building
As it says in the New Yorker, in the Brexit referendum, sixty-two per cent of Scottish voters opted to remain in the European Union. According to The Open University, Sturgeon states I joined the SNP and supported independence because I thought then, and believe now, that an independent Scotland is the best route to a socially just Scotland. The range of identities in modern Scotland – Scottish, British, Pakistani, Irish, Polish and many more – will be encompassed in an independent country, but they are not dependent on it.
This indicates that in her attempts for Scottish identity building, Sturgeon focuses on social justice, social democracy, a pluralist view and values of different countries, especially the values of the European Union. Scottish identity is directly related to the EU’s efforts to empower the countries in this union.
Therefore, to benefit from this empowerment, sturgeon will try to build the Scottish identity based on “EU values” and will do her best to join the EU. Thus, identity formation in Scotland seems to be highly political. This political motivation
causes SNP to avoid British identity and establish a Scottish identity based on EU values.