The highland community in Glasgow in the nineteenth century : a study of non-assimilation
In recent years a growing body of economic and social research has been directed towards studies of migration, the problem of the assimilation of immigrants and the persistence of cultural traditions in new environmental circumstances. The present study is an attempt to contribute towards this work by looking at the evolution of the Glasgow Highland community in the nineteenth century. Though the Highlanders in their homeland and overseas have attracted much attention, the study of their reaction to urban, industrial life has been subjected to less scrutiny. The work already done on this area has tended to argue that a speedy process of assimilation to the dominant cultural pattern took place. The present study looks at a wide variety of indicators, such as residential, employment and household patterns, as well as the question of cultural traditions, and argues, on the contrary, that a definite Glasgow Highland community existed,with its own institutions and patterns of social relationships, within the wider Glasgow society. In contrast to assimilation models, the Glasgow Gaels showed a preference for distinct settlement areas, as well as a predilection to "clustering" in certain employment opportunities. In addition, they demonstrated a loyalty to specific Highland institutions of a cultural and religious nature which marked them off from the non-Gael. These features in turn encouraged strong intra-group social and domestic relationships.