Ann McCluskey

Centre for Cultural Policy Research (CCPR)


Research title: Where Cultural Nationalism Meet Broadcasting Politics: Scottish Arts Programming and the Values of the Public Sphere.

Research Summary

The focus of my thesis is Scotland‘s public service broadcasting (PSB) television culture. It can be argued that in Scottish factual television mythologising representations of identity are in evidence through the prism of romanticised history and post-industrial machismo. Case studies investigating relevant broadcasts – most recently, The Story of Scottish Art (BBC Two Scotland, 2015) – will evaluate UK PSB values in relation to arts programming, deploying a qualitative research methodology to conduct the research. This will triangulate television content, the role of PSB and critical discourse theory.

This thesis will therefore address how certain representations risk disrupting PSB values through a misplaced interpretation of ‘reflecting’ culture. Mythologised Scottish identities arguably serve the interests of cultural nationalism, but potentially disrupt the cultural rights citizens require to ‘belong to an identity’ (Melucci, 1989: 258) and, therefore, engage meaningfully in the public sphere.


  • Research exchange symposium at the University of Oslo, May 2016