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Title: Gender, national identity and political agency in eighteenth-century Scotland
Author: Carr, Rosalind
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 8045
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis considers the interrelationship between the discourse and performance of gender, national identity and political agency in Scotland during the Union debates of 1706-07 and the mid-to-late eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment. These two periods are offered in contrast to each other in order to demonstrate the means by which changing discourses of gender and national identity impacted upon the performance of political agency. The first section of this thesis (Chapters 2 and 3) demonstrates that anti-Union discourse in 1706-07 was founded upon a conception of a masculine Scottish nationhood defined by ‘heroick ancestors’. This is contrasted with women’s political agency at the time, demonstrated most markedly by elite women’s ability to influence parliamentary politics. I argue that despite masculinist discourses of nationhood, during the Union debates status was a more important determinant of political agency than gender. The second section of my thesis (Chapters 4, 5 and 6) considers the centrality of male refinement and ‘civilised’ femininity to discourses of North British nationhood in the context of the Scottish Enlightenment. I examine the construction and performance of male refinement within intellectual societies and convivial clubs and then consider women’s limited inclusion in the urban Enlightenment public sphere, demonstrating that discourses of femininity necessarily precluded women’s full public engagement in this sphere. The final chapter (Chapter 7) considers martial masculinity, particularly the masculine ideal of martial Highland manhood in order to demonstrate the problematic aspect of notions of hegemonic masculinity and in order to bring the story of the Highlands and Empire into the story of Enlightenment Scotland. This thesis will demonstrate the centrality of gender to discourses of national identity and examine the impact of these on the performance of political agency in eighteenth-century Scotland and in doing so offers a contribution to the history of gender and political power.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: D204 Modern History ; DA Great Britain