Free «Language and Identity in Definition of Britishness» Essay Sample

Britishness is a state of having the British national identity. Over the last two decades or so, scholars and historians have been in the forefront in trying to define Britishness in terms of its stand and strength towards and into the 21st century (Bradley, 2007: 17). Former historians on the other hand were involved in predicting the future of the British National identity concerning the changes that have been taking place both politically and socially. However, the bigger task has not been definition of Britishness as a culture or a way of life; it has been defined as a set of social elements such as language and identity (Oakland, 2011: 213). The link between language and identity is in the case of constituent characteristics that define identity and language individually. Language in broad view is not tied down to the spoken word but it is variant in nature regarding the context it is used in. In this essay, language is an assumption that a group of people pick up besides culture as a way of defining, appreciating, or judging a certain component of their existence. On the other hand, identity is the character trait that a group of people or an individual portrays and can be identifies with (Karatani, 2003: 23). The identity of the British revolves around war, politics, and language. Language on the other hand revolves around patriotism, culture and nationalism. The two elements are related in terms of the aspects they identify and withhold in the definition of Britishness.



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Great Britain or simply the British is not a nation by its own but rather a territory made up of Wales, England, Scotland, and Ireland. For the case of Britishness or bearing the British national identity, elements of one of the above nations has or had to be noted. Inspite of the fact that most of the nations that make up the British are English speaking nations, a confusion comes in when defining Britishness because some scholars and historians tend to call it ‘Englishness’. Englishness in this context would mean the English national identity. However, the spectra of English speaking, and influenced nations in the world keep increasing with the English being the national language of many countries. For this reason, the English specking or English influenced nations do not fit to be categorized as having Britishness in them (Ward, 2004: 89).

Considering the relation of Wales, Scotland, and England with one another in terms of social, cultural, and political influence, a common variable for all can be derived. The languages of Catholic, Presbyterian, and Pentecostalism are all homogeneous to one of these nations but as integration of cultures and liquefaction of nationalities keeps taking place, a mixture of languages within the territories of one nation has been witnessed. For this reason, the relationship between identity and language in the definition of Britishness in this case is the integration of culture, sharing of languages, and slow but sure dissolution of specific national identities (Oakland, 2011: 308). The specific national identities of one nation have been different from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. However, as the World War II neared end, more associations were in place that merged most of the specific national identities of England, Wales, and Scotland. The reason for leaving out Ireland is its isolation from different forms and treaties that the other components of the Great Britain assumed both politically and socially.

Bradley (2007: 99) describes Britishness by taking its formation as a union to fight the French to predict its future and the stability it still has or lost. In one way or another, more ways than this one define Britishness without the variable use to predict fall or stabilization. The British were politically oriented and kept a very strong belief in Monarchies, Empires, Protestantism, and democracy. For this reason, the British exercised a sense of drive that enabled them to adopt leadership regimes that were relative to the above elements. The significance of democracy was to allow the nations in these unions to make independence decisions that were outside the union in order to govern their territories with a sense of direction.

The war between the French and the British required the British to be strong in terms of enforcement and resources so that they can resist the French effectively. The union in war is one element of identity that the British portrays Britishness with (Baucom, 1999: 119). However, to define Britishness with war, a selection of common interests would be of great significance. The common interests that these union nations had as the British was to sustain a strong political backbone with the support of each other and also to extend the economic relations and individual strengths. Without unity, the French due to their strong armies and aggression would have devastated the individual interests of each of these nations. The monarchs of these nations or kingdoms were in a state of economic stupor in that they all dreamt to defeat, conquer, and take over new territories with or without lethal resistance (Karatani, 2003: 11; Neack & Nelson, 2002: 40). This was the biggest element of definition of Britishness considering the language of partisanship for each individual nation.

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Culture is the way of life of a people and it is the defining body language for the interests and beliefs of the people. Britishness or the British National identity is defined through a role of the people indisplayingtheir attachment to the nation and their patriotism. The appreciation of cultural values through the integration of multiple ways of life borrowed from other nations has been a defining element of Britishness. By this, the way of life of the Scots has been emulated by the English as it has been by the Welsh. In this case, the spoken language within the British territories does not influence the way of life but a definition of Britishness has been as a relation between cultural elevation and leadership traits of individual nations.

Elizabeth II defined the status of the British as strong unions that had strengthened the ties with the constituent nations. However, as Baucom (1999: 47) explains, the issues of integrating cultures with the territories have destroyed the matter of union. European, America, Black, and Asia cultures have contributed to the mentality that British is no longer functional as inhabitants are forced to refer themselves as Scots, English, and Welsh. For this reason, it is noteworthy that culture had been and still is a strong definition element for Britishness. In other words, culture and politics are mutually integrates in that the regime in power rules through a certain culture. The subjects in the other hand have the obligation to reflect positively on the changing traits of culture to know their roots. The issue of defining Britishness relies heavily in terms of language and the identities one can identify the British with on culture, the dynamics of life, and the trends of changing these cultures (Bradley, 2007: 113). Considering the war against the French, it is through such culture of unity and war that Scotland, England, and Wales came together. After World War II, the trend that had brought them together was a basis historians define a possible split or break up of the British. The relation of language and identity in this case is in terms of nationalism, culture and motives of association that brought this British Union together.

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Language in terms of defining Britishness has been attributed with the element beliefs. Beliefs in terms of the British were in terms of the Catholic wrangles with the Protestants. In this case, Protestantism is an element that that British assumed in order to protest on the teachings of the Roman Catholic. The teachings of the Roman Catholic and the exercise of powers was in contrary of what the British believed in. To her opinion, the British under the influence of German and French analysts Christianity under the Italian doctrines does not define the destiny of humankind. For this reason, Protestantism was a big element the Britishness could be defined with when related to the entities of virtue, faith, interest, and logical reasoning (Gamble & Wright, 2009: 62).


Historians attribute national identity with the relevant identities that make up a nation. Among this are political, social and economic attributes of a nation as reflected by the type of beliefs and traditions they attach themselves to. Britishness or the British national identity is developed through the like variable or war, economy and territorial leadership which Scotland, England, and Wales shared in common. For definition, these interests of leadership, economic gain, and political influence relate to language in terms of appreciating nationalism, patriotism, and cultural diversification. In definition, culture is related with interest as language and identity respectively through traditions, beliefs, political motives, economic reasons, and leadership traits.


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