Consuming identity: the case of Scotland

Emma Coombes, Sally Hibbert, Gillian Hogg, Richard Varey

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The paper examines national identity in Scotland. The research explores how consumers perceive the symbols used to represent Scotland, how these symbols relate to their perceptions of contemporary Scottish identity and their responses to the use of these symbols to promote Scotland and Scottishness. A series of in-depth interviews revealed that national identity in Scotland was seen to be multidimensional. Activities associated with art and culture, as opposed to business and industry, were identified as primary characteristics of contemporary Scotland. The traditional symbols of Scottish identity (e.g. tartan and whiskey) remain dominant signifiers, however, and the problems of this are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-333
Number of pages5
JournalAdvances in Consumer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • national identity
  • scotland
  • scottish identity
  • marketing
  • consumers

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