Since the 1960s, policies to 'revive' minority cultures and languages have flourished. But what does it mean to have a 'cultural identity'? And are minorities as deeply attached to their languages and traditions as revival policies suppose? This book is a sophisticated analysis of responses to the 'Gaelic renaissance' in a Scottish Hebridean community. Its description of everyday conceptions of belonging and interpretations of cultural policy takes us into the world of Gaelic playgroups, crofting, local history, religion and community development. Historically and theoretically informed, this book challenges many of the ways in which we conventionally think about ethnic and national identity.This accessible and engaging account of life in this remote region of Europe provides an original and timely contribution to questions of considerable currency in a broad range of social science disciplines.
Table of Contents
Part I: Histories 2 ‘Our Language, Our Heritage’: Imagining Gaelic Culture 3 ‘The Crofting Community’: Land, Religion and the Formation of the Highland People Part II: Identities 4 ‘A Way of Life’: Crofting, Tradition and People 5 ‘Being Part of the Place’: On Belonging 6 ‘The Last Bastion’: The Highland Churches Part III: Cultural Renaissance 7 ‘From Strength to Strength’: Community Revival 8 ‘Saving the Gaelic‘: Language Revival and Identity 9 Reflections on Reimagining
Sharon Macdonald, Social Anthropology, University of Manchester