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The Scottish Independence Referendum in Text, Image and Thought
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In 2014, a referendum was held in Scotland in order to decide the country’s constitutional future. The referendum was the climax of years of campaigning that gave rise to a rich body of political discourse. This compilation thesis attempts to show how an independent Scotland was discursively constructed, and how these constructions impacted on Scottish identity. The thesis consists of four original research papers which employ a number of complementary approaches in order to analyse a rich and diverse data set.

The first article examines how the Scottish government looked at small European states in order to construct a vision of a future independent Scotland. This was achieved by discursively constructing small states as economically successful and democratically progressive and then by emphasizing Scotland’s role as a small country.

The second article analyses the many new metaphorical personifications of Scotland, notably as a woman, that appeared during the campaign. The article finds that traditional, gendered metaphors were largely reworked in order to function in a modern political context.

The third article maps the central topics and the ideological morphology of discourses on Scottish independence produced by the Scottish National Party and the intellectual and artistic movement National Collective. Unlike previous research, the results of the analysis suggest that these organizations as complementary but labels the former politically nationalist and the latter culturally nationalist.

The fourth article analyses image tweets published by the official Yes and No campaigns in order to ascertain how the two campaigns legitimated their own standpoints and how they delegitimated their opponents online. The analysis finds that the Yes campaign balanced between promoting its own visions whilst criticizing their opponents, in contrast to the No campaign which almost entirely focused on delegitimating its opponents, thus failing to offer alternative visions.

Collectively, the thesis paints a picture of a diverse independence movement with different aims and different rationales for advocating independence. Besides making a contribution to the literature on nationalism in general and Scottish nationalism in particular, the thesis further integrates the fields of political theory and discourse studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2019. , p. 76
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 362/2019
Keywords [en]
Cognitive linguistics, ideological morphology, legitimation, metaphor, metonymy, nationalism, political discourse, political theory, unionism
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Social Sciences, Political Science; Humanities, Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-90057ISBN: 9789188898869 (print)ISBN: 9789188898876 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-90057DiVA, id: diva2:1370076
Public defence
2019-12-17, Homeros, Hus F, Växjö, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-11-20 Created: 2019-11-13 Last updated: 2019-11-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The Body Politic of Independent Scotland: National personification and metaphor as ideological visions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Body Politic of Independent Scotland: National personification and metaphor as ideological visions
2018 (English)In: Metaphor and the Social World, ISSN 2210-4070, E-ISSN 2210-4097, Vol. 8, no 2, p. 184-206Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

 The creation of national personifications is a political act that informs us about ideological and cognitive strategies underpinning nation-building. Many European nations are associated with national personifications, but Scotland stands out by not having a tradition of representing the nation in this way. The 2014 independence referendum began to change that, and national personifications featured, not only in the main pro-independence campaign material, but in the visual profile of many new, radical organizations. These personifications also raise questions about the use of metaphor in political discourse. By combining multimodal metaphor and metonymy analysis with interviews with artists who have designed Scottish personifications for the independence movement, this article investigates how new Scottish body politic metaphors were constructed during the campaign. This methodology increases our understanding of the wider context of the referendum, and aids the interpretation of national personifications by providing arguments for interpretation. The analysis shows that body politic metaphors used in the campaign draw on traditional Scottish symbols, but traditional body politic metaphor types are subverted, typically concerning gender roles, in order to convey messages that are relevant in a contemporary political landscape.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2018
Keywords
metaphor, metonymy, multimodality, National Collective, nationalism, Yes Scotland
National Category
Political Science Languages and Literature
Research subject
Social Sciences, Political Science; Humanities, English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-78942 (URN)10.1075/msw.17009.eng (DOI)000448344500002 ()2-s2.0-85055449176 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-11-23 Created: 2018-11-23 Last updated: 2019-11-13Bibliographically approved
2. The (dis)continuation of Scottish nationalism?: A discursive comparison of the Scottish National Party and National Collective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The (dis)continuation of Scottish nationalism?: A discursive comparison of the Scottish National Party and National Collective
2018 (English)In: Journal of Political Ideologies, ISSN 1356-9317, E-ISSN 1469-9613, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 97-115Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Scottish independence referendum in 2014 was propelled by the Scottish National Party (SNP), but the referendum also saw the emergence of a plethora of pro-independence groups. One of the most prominent was National Collective (NC), a cultural movement emphasizing the empowerment of the younger electorate. NC has been described as part of a radical pro-independence movement, heralding the end of the nationalist hegemony and the arrival of a new post-nationalist politics in Scotland. This article investigates that claim from a political discourse perspective by analysing interviews conducted with NC and SNP representatives. The analysis of the interview data is framed by Gorski’s conception of nationalism as discourse and mobilization, and the ideological presentation of these two organizations are analysed by drawing on Freeden’s morphological approach. The findings suggest a great degree of discursive overlap between NC and the SNP but wide divergences in terms of imagined recipient scope.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2018
Keywords
Devolution, Green Party, morphological approach, nationalism, referendum, Scotland
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Social Sciences, Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-68740 (URN)10.1080/13569317.2017.1397915 (DOI)000430977700006 ()2-s2.0-85033666714 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2017-11-14 Created: 2017-11-14 Last updated: 2019-11-13Bibliographically approved
3. The Scottish Independence Referendum and the Myth of Successful Small States
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Scottish Independence Referendum and the Myth of Successful Small States
2016 (English)In: Linguistics and the human sciences, ISSN 1742-2906, E-ISSN 1743-1662, Vol. 12, no 1, p. 47-66Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 2013 the Scottish government launched its flagship publication, Scotland’s Future, intended to mobilize the electorate to vote for independence. A particularly salient feature of this document is the large number of references to small northern European countries. Combining theories of cognitive linguistics with a discursive approach to political myth, this article argues that Scotland’s Future employs the political myth of national rebirth in tandem with the construction of small European countries as democratic role models. This results in a mythical conception of small states, here referred to as the myth of successful small states. This myth is then used to legitimate the Scottish government’s policies that are conveyed to the Scottish  lectorate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Equinox Publishing, 2016
Keywords
National identity, nationalism, political myth, Scottish National Party
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Social Sciences, Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-80269 (URN)10.1558/lhs.31460 (DOI)000456527700003 ()
Available from: 2019-02-07 Created: 2019-02-07 Last updated: 2019-11-13Bibliographically approved

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