“Britishness is a matter of ‘shared values, ideas or ways of life’” – An Assessment “How [people] talk or write about Britishness is always purposive. It always aims to have an impact. It always aims to persuade us to a particular view…how Britain has a particular set of values, a particular set of orientations, a particular tolerant, inclusive way of being.” – John Clarke, Reflections on Connected Lives…
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Britishness is also described in the context of a connection among England, Scotland, Wales and parts of Ireland. This is an interesting proposition, given his observation that the manner Britishness is discussed always seeks to advance a particular point of view when so many are advanced through various narratives. In Chapter 5, it was mentioned that Britishness, as a matter of national identity, may be a consequence of a shared place, history, culture, or race and ethnicity. Additionally, it broached a relationship to nationality and / or citizenship, which in the UK (or Great Britain) are not necessarily the same. The word itself, “Britishness”, automatically adheres to a place in particular, Britain (Clarke, 2009, p. 216). However, “Britain” meant different entities at different times in history, whether it is Great Britain the nation, the UK, the former British Empire, the Commonwealth of Nations, or England vis-a-vis Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Union itself goes by the official name of “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” (Clarke, 2009, p. 217). ...
nge, however, comes at the cost of tensions between and among traditionalists who favour homogeneity, and the modernists who espouse cultural diversity. A discussion on diversity should begin with describing how the four countries in the United Kingdom, and in a wider context, the countries of the Commonwealth, relate to Britishness as their national identity It was once suspected that unionist advocates in Northern Ireland feigned their identification with Great Britain merely as a ploy by the Protestants of Ulster to subjugate the Catholics and nationalists. To settle these doubts, Southern (2007) examined the national self-understanding of this country’s unionist community. Far from finding a superficial sense of identity, results showed that there exists a true emotional depth and a profound sense of Britishness among the unionists. This being said, the unionists nevertheless feel that “Britishness is something which they have a right to define” (Southern, 2007, p. 100). In a slightly earlier study, Kiely, McCrone & Bechhofer (2005) likewise found a strong sense of British national identity in Scotland, but noted that it is a different conception of Britishness than that conceived in England. There were likewise intra-group differences among Scots-born nationals on the construction of Britishness (p. 65). This identification with Britishness which nevertheless exhibits diversity of construction likewise extends to the various independent nations in the Commonweath. Meaney (1999) observes that at one point in its history, Australia appeared to have given up its Britishness, for which an alternative, purely Australian, identity was briefly put forward by culture-makers. The attempt was met with disinterest, and once again the nation exhibited a fervour for
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