Front_page_thesis_Louise_Fjordside.pdf
  • Louise Dyreborg Fjordside
4. semester, Culture, Communication & Globalisation, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This thesis’ research question was: “how has identity politics influenced the construction of the concept “British national identity” in the, Scottish and London-based, printed press analysing data gathered during the Brexit election, held on the 23rd of June 2016, and the Scottish independence referendum held on the 18th of September 2014”. The thesis focused on editorial, comment and opinion pieces gathered from a selection of newspapers published in Scotland, and London. These were analysed using coding and Discourse-Historical Approach. Before conducting the analysis, a pilot study was undertaken to establish which codes would be applicable and to ensure that the thesis would not result in too rich data given the limitations for the scope of the research. Through this analysis, it was discovered that identity politics could be said to be an integral part of the construction of an ‘we’ and ‘other’ in connection with national identity in the two cases. Furthermore, the analysis presented results that suggest that the Scottish papers and the London-based papers construct their readers in different terms in regards to nationality. Where the Scottish papers were prone to construct their readers as a Scottish ‘we’, or through the usage of an inclusive British ‘we’; the London-based papers shifted between the usage of an inclusive and an exclusive British ‘we’, depending on the political campaign that was endorsed by the different papers. Particularly, the pro-leave papers utilised an exclusive British ‘we’ for Brexit – this ‘we’ either focused on a Britain outside of the EU or further exclusive, as some papers only focused on an English ‘we’, covered under the term of a British ‘we’.
The Scottish papers utilised more inclusive constructions, as the British ‘we’ found in both IndyRef and Brexit, tried to create unity, despite the differences in political conviction. However, some of the Scottish papers also opened a debate for a second IndyRef – thereby indicating that the EU is more important to a Scottish ‘we’, than the British ‘we’. The discussion focused on the conflicting narratives that were presented in the analysis and argued that these discrepancies suggest that the notion of a ‘British National identity’ is closer to an illusion than reality. Furthermore, the discussion argued that the question of EU membership, has, in part, been imperative in exhibiting the inaccuracies of the concept. In conclusion, this thesis argues that identity politics have influenced the concept of a ‘British National identity’ to the extent, that there is little agreement on the concept. The results of the thesis indicate that the British identity covers over the more uncomfortable question of ‘who are we’ for the four nations within the UK.
SprogEngelsk
Udgivelsesdato30 maj 2017
Antal sider79
ID: 258640001