In the chapter ‘The Question of Tradition’ taken from the book Scotland in Theory: Reflections on Culture and Literature, Eleanor Bell argues that Scottish studies are hesitant to consider the issues of post-modernism and post-nationalism. The question Bell wishes to consider, is why? In consideration of this question, Bell suggests that Scottish studies has become too preoccupied with approaches of tradition and canon building to consider new theoretical applications available, such as post-modernism. This for Bell creates stagnation, and she delineates that this is due to a certain fear that such applications might breakdown the cultural framework that they have tried to preserve and maintain.
From the outset of the passage, Bell sets her intentions clearly, she wishes to analyse the relationship between post-modernism and…show more content… There has still been an engagement with, and consideration of the possible effects of globalisation on national identity. In contrast, Bell concludes that Scottish studies have yet to explore such approaches, thus disallowing for an expansion beyond tradition-based applications. In her consideration of the breakdown of the national, Bell makes use of a lengthy quote from Michael Billig’s 1995 study, Banal Nationalism , which discusses the dissolution of nation and nation states. Billig describes how this change of territory is creating new behaviours, which are received on a personal level rather than as a collective “we”, akin to nation states. Furthermore, he also suggests that a person’s sense of identity is no longer attached to place, but that humanity now perceives self and identity through other facets, for example, gender and sexuality. In response to Billig’s proposal about the breakdown of nation, Bell notes that this forming “terra” is indicative of the power of globalism. Bell agrees with Billig in his assumption that there is definite shift from the national to the personal as