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The Great Cultural Appropriation Debate of Doom: Eighteenth Century Edition Apr. 20th, 2009 @ 11:38 am
Because the 2009 edition kinda seems to have died down, and also because I'm not writing an essay about 2009. Mostly the essay part. (Okay, entirely the essay part.)

So, my history essay is about the extent to which Scottish culture was oppressed/suppressed after Union with England (and Wales, but realistically: England). See, the major counter-argument to this being the case that came out of my discussion with my lecturer is that the laws banning Scottish cultural elements - kilts, tartan generally, Gaelic, etc - were generally elements of Highland culture - and the Highlands were only a small part of Scotland, not all that well-regarded even by Scots.

The Highlands, after all, were seen as a backward, savage haven of paganism and popery and nobody liked them; the Highlanders who came to the Lowlands were poor and not that welcome, etc.

And yet, in the eighteenth century and onwards, the Highlands came to be seen as the 'true' Scotland, and Highland culture became seen as Scottish culture.

Around 1:30am last night, I realised that this kind of entails my argument for the essay, because: what's going on here is that the English attitudes were more-or-less redefining Scottish culture to mean Highland culture - a culture that wasn't even favoured within Scotland at the time - and set about suppressing that...

... which has and had the effect, more or less, of writing Lowland Scots culture out of existence entirely. Even my Lowland Scot lecturer seemed (although he may have just been playing Devil's Advocate) to be arguing, when we talked about it, that it wasn't really an oppression of Scottish culture, just Highland culture. (Or maybe he was prodding me towards the exact realisation I've had - or maybe not. We'll see, though it's not directly relevant to producing the essay itself.)

Anyway, I'd be interested in the thoughts of others on this. Right now my lecturer just walked in, so the lecture will be starting soon.
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