Unionism, Loyalism, and the Ulster‐Scots Ethnolinguistic ‘Revival’

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JournalStudies in Ethnicity and Nationalism
DatePublished - 22 Apr 2015
Issue number1
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)4-25
Original languageEnglish


The Ulster‐Scots ethnolinguistic ‘revival’ in Northern Ireland has been appropriated, promoted, and internalized by many across the varieties of unionism and loyalism. Much of the academic literature on Ulster‐Scots has focused on political and cultural dimensions of the ‘revival’. This article analyses the written promotion of the Ulster‐Scots movement by those who purport to conceptualize it primarily in terms of a literary‐linguistic revival. Through a close textual analysis of the Ulster‐Scots Language Society's journal, Ullans, I investigate where this part of the Ulster‐Scots ‘revival’ fits in the nexus of unionism and loyalism. Although Ullans does contain markers of the ‘Protestant community’, in general its Ulster‐Scots narrative fails to conform to any specific form of unionist ideology. Rather, this victimhood narrative may be more mimetic towards Irish linguo‐cultural promotion, defence, and legitimization than a development of various strands of endogenous unionist ideology.

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