Landscapes of Protest in the Scottish Highlands after 1914  - Robertson, Iain J.M.

Landscapes of Protest in the Scottish Highlands after 1914

Iain J.M. Robertson

Yayınevi: Ashgate

Yayın tarihi: 12/2013

ISBN: 9781472411372

Ciltli | İngilizce | 212 Sayfa | 15,75x23,62x0,76 cm.

Tür: Tarih Çalışmaları

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In November 1918, the implementation of agrarian change in the Scottish Highlands threatened another wave of unemployment and eviction for the land-working population, which led to widespread and varied social protest. Those who had been away on war service (and their families) faced returning to exactly the same social and economic conditions in the Scottish Highlands they had hoped they had left behind in the struggle to make 'a land fit for heroes'. Widespread and varied social protest rapidly followed. It argues that, previously, there has been a failure to capture fully the geography, chronology typology and rate of occurrence of these events. The book not only offers new insights and a greater understanding of what was happening in the Highlands in this period, but illustrates how a range of forms of protest were used which demand attention, not least for the fact that these events, unlike most of the earlier Land Wars period, were successful. There are functioning townships in the Highlands today that owe their existence to the land invasions of the 1920s. The book innovatively concentrates on formulating explanation and interpretation from within and looks to the crofting landscape as base, means and motive to disturbance and interpretation. It proposes that protest is much more convincingly understood as an expression of environmental ethics from 'the bottom up' coming increasingly into conflict with conservationist views expressed from 'the top down' It focuses on individual case studies in order to engage more convincingly with an important evidential base - that of popular memory of land disturbances - and to adopt a frame and lens through which to explore the fluid and contingent nature of protest performances. Based upon the belief that in the study of landscapes of social protest the old shibboleth of space as solely passive setting and symbolic register is no longer tenable is paid here to nature/culture interactions, to vernacular ecological beliefs and to the dynamic and formative role of landscape in people's lifespaces. It suggests reading and engaging with event as text in anticipation of revealing their fluid and contingent nature rather than, as has previously been done, imposing single master narratives. Critically, this book draws on oral testimony. The view taken here is that historical events are dynamic. While written, primary source material is nearly always static - recording only particular 'moments' of an incident - oral testimony captures different 'moments' of the same event and, if interwoven with the written archival material as here proposed, can only enrich our understanding.

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