By Duncan Sim
Some 30 million people worldwide claim Scottish ancestry, making the Scots one of the world's largest diasporas. There are few countries around the globe without a Caledonian Society, a Burns Club, a Scottish country dance society, or some similar organization expressing the Scottish social and cultural heritage. This book describes the Scottish diaspora in the US, which is one of the largest. The book includes interviews with Scottish Americans about their family histories, their membership of Scottish societies, and their continuing links with the Scottish homeland. Academic interest in diasporas has grown as the world's population has become more mobile and as forced migration has led to major increases in the numbers of refugee diasporas. In relation to the Scottish diaspora, there is increasing interest, partly as a result of devolution and the existence of a Scottish Government able to engage directly with Scots overseas. The book explores theories of diaspora and how the Scots fit into these. It describes workings with American Scots and reports on detailed interviews which cover family histories and issues of identity and belonging. It deals with diaspora events, such as National Tartan Day, and concludes with some discussion of the continuing nature and importance of expatriate identity. The book will be of interest to those studying notions of identity, such as sociologists, geographers, or political scientists. It provides a fascinating study of how American Scots relate to their 'home,' and it offers insight into how those in Scotland perceive Scots who live abroad.
Publication Date: 10/11/2011