Polyethnic Britain: a comparative and historical perspective

Ballard, Roger

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This paper deals with the questions who are the British and who should be identified as such, and who should not. The current debate about Britain's boundaries, as well as about what belongingness entails, has at least two dimensions. The first stems from the very character of the United Kingdom itself. Although by definition a multi-national state, its four components are not – and never have been – equal in status. This inequality is partly a matter of demography, for England's population England is and always has been much larger than that of Scotland, Wales and Ireland put together; however it is also a matter of power. As the outcome of a series of Acts of Union, not only is the UK very much an English creation, but also an entity within which the English have long enjoyed a position of hegemonic dominance.

Document type: Article
Date: 1999
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 26 February 2009
Faculties / Institutes: Organisations / Associations / Foundations > Centre for Applied South Asian Studies (CASAS)
DDC-classification: Customs, etiquette, folklore
Controlled Subjects: Großbritannien, Ethnizität, Kulturelle Identität
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ethnische Identität, Great Britain , Ethnicity , Cultural Identity , Ethnic Identity
Subject (classification): Anthropology
Countries/Regions: other countries
Series: Subjects > CASAS Online Papers: Plural Britain
Volume: 8