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How do we define a Scot?

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Old 22nd July 2011, 03:57
Sgoinneil Sgoinneil is offline
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How do we define a Scot?

Do we acknowledge "ethnic Scots" or is the term strictly national? I would suggest that its as a fluid term dependant on the context, A Scot in the eleventh century was a Gael, whether from Ireland or Britain, at least in ethnic terms, and today we have Americans who see themselves as not only Scots, but Germans, Greeks and Italians. Is it ever legitemate to exclaim greater Scottishness based on national status, ethnicity or culture? Or is it better to accept the elasticity and ambiguity of being Scottish?
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Old 22nd July 2011, 04:30
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tig tig is offline
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you do not define scots at all

you cant define something you know nothing about
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Old 22nd July 2011, 06:58
Sgoinneil Sgoinneil is offline
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That kind of bypasses the entire concept of the thread. I wonder what contributers from elsewhere think about the difficulties involved in theattempted defining of a term that has so many nuances. Should it be limited to the understanding that some hold, or broadened to include the traditions of Scottishness on a globaly flexible set of nuances? If for instance, an American Scot was to invest in Scotland via tourism and saw Scottishness as central to their identity, is this counter toi the "true" meaning of being Scottish, or merely a different variant of the description? In a global village, identity becomes blurred at the edges and in a sense, we are all Scots, English and American.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 08:44
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Lachlan09 Lachlan09 is offline
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I'm Scottish - that's all that matters to me and I don't have to justify it to anyone or analyse it for anyone - end of story.

Americans of Scottish descent, whether their Scottish ancestors went over in the 18th, 19th or 20th Centuries - are American. I suspect that there are very few Americans of 100% Scottish ancestry, they are likely to be half, quarter or eighth at most.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 09:27
Sgoinneil Sgoinneil is offline
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I would rather define the parameters of the definition before attempting to define who was Scottish.

Surely there are two points here: the difference between nationality and ethnicity and the choice over which is the definer in the absence of the other?
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Old 22nd July 2011, 13:46
ANDY-J3 ANDY-J3 is offline
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In conventional usage a Scot is someone who comes from Scotland. That's the definition that is in the dictionary and it's the one that the vast majority of people are happy with. How Americans choose to see themselves is up to them - I would see them as American although I suppose if their parents were both Scottish I would accept it if they termed themselves as being Scots.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 13:53
ANDY-J3 ANDY-J3 is offline
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Originally posted by Sgoinneil

I wonder what contributers from elsewhere think about the difficulties involved in theattempted defining of a term that has so many nuances.


It doesn't have any nuances as far as most people are concerned notwithstanding the subjective opinions of non Scots.



Should it be limited to the understanding that some hold, or broadened to include the traditions of Scottishness on a globaly flexible set of nuances?

It should be used in the same sense as other words pertaining to nationality such as Frenchman or German.
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