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Discuss the view that nationality is no longer an important source of identity in the contemporary UK

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Introduction

Discuss the view that nationality is no longer an important source of identity in the contemporary UK It is commonly thought that nationality is no longer an important source of identity in the contemporary UK. There are a number of reasons that have contributed to its decline. The first is globalisation. The sociologist McGrew has defined globalisation as "the process by which events, decisions and activities in one part of the world come to have significant consequences for people in quite distant parts of the globe". From this definition it means that everyone around the world is linked through economics and also politically and socially. Globalisation also has a major influence on individual consumption and style of life. The ever growing impact of the world market has effected many cultural commodities like television, film and the printed word. As the volume of international trade expands, consumption patterns everywhere become more alike, not only the food people eat and the clothes they wear, but also the books they read and the programmes they watch. ...read more.

Middle

The political invention known as the UK has come into question. The UK is meant to be a union of England, Scotland and Wales. Although in reality this is incorrect. Ireland was glad to gain its independence in 1922 and form the Republic of Ireland (there is still the question of Northern Ireland). More recently, in 1999 devolution was handed over to Scotland and Wales. Devolution is defined as "the dispersal of power from a superior to an inferior political authority". With devolution, Scotland and Wales would receive more control over their own affairs, especially Scotland that formed its own parliament while Wales received its own Assembly with more limited power. Many argue that devolution will lead to the eventual break-up of Britain and with it, its identity. Arguably, as Britain becomes more divided the more it loses its sense of identity and culture. This is because there is no single nationality in the UK. To complicate the matter, the process of European integration has a large section of the population worried about losing British sovereignty and ultimately being part of a much larger European super state. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another way in which we used to identify ourselves was through religion. For hundreds of years, England (Scotland has its own church) has been a Protestant state "ruled" by the Church of England. There are now more practicing Roman Catholics then Anglicans in the country, and half as many Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus as Protestants. Not only is the UK a multifaith country but also multicultural. Many of the people who immigrated to the UK have seeked to retain not only their inherited customs but even their native language in their adopted countries. This shows that nationality is still an important source of identity. Nationality is also important because traditions, the components of a culture, are specific. It is not possible to be a citizen of the world. Identity is local; it is the characteristic of a people who have inhabited a land over a period of time, who have developed certain collective habits, evident in their manners, their dress, the ritials they collectively enjoy, their religious bonds and their attitudes and values. These are not universal traits but are rooted deeply in the past. This demonstrates that nationality is still evidently important. ...read more.

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