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Title: Embodying Scotland : identity, cultural policy, dance
Author: Smith, Ashley Lorrain
ISNI:       0000 0004 2686 1300
Awarding Body: University of the West of Scotland
Current Institution: University of the West of Scotland
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis investigates the interconnections between constructions of Scottish national cultural identity, cultural practices, cultural products and cultural policy. It analyzes dance in Scotland as its primary example of cultural practice and cultural product, using it as a window through which to explore meanings constructed around the category of Scotland by both artistic practitioners and policymakers. These groups help to set a symbolic as well as a material context in which cultural consumption and production takes place. The meanings inscribed in cultural products, practices and policy may contest each other or reinforce each other and are often organised around familiar tropes within history, tradition and geography. The research utilises qualitative methods in order to explore the layers of complexity which operate through culture as a signifying system. It draws from two primary sets of data. The first includes transcripts, coded and analysed, of twenty in-depth semi-structured interviews with members of the dance and performing arts community in Scotland. The second includes an analysis of all the cultural policy documents produced by the Scottish Executive since devolution, as well as a wide variety of historical and other secondary data. Existing secondary source material is contextualised and contested by both the voices of the interview participants as well as mediated accounts drawn from the Scottish press. It is found that post-devolution versions of Scottish identity have become, if anything, more complex in the face of greater political autonomy from London. The policymakers demonstrate this through a slow and careful implementation of cultural policy initiatives demonstrative of both assumed and aspirational versions of Scotland, which are tied to instrumental uses of culture and protecting the union. The dance community grapple with this through their own critical cultural products and practices which feed back into the ongoing national conversation. The thesis therefore locates dance within Scottish cultural practice and policy generally, and that wider theme within the overarching question of Scottish identity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available