Young H (2015) Contributing to the community debate: understanding social change in rural Scotland during the twentieth century. Local Historian, 45 (4), pp. 321-335. http://www.balh.org.uk/publications/local-historian/the-local-historian-volume-45-number-4-october-2015
This article explores the socio-cultural changes and continuities of community life in rural Scotland during the twentieth century. It is focused on the two adjacent hamlets of Ardeonaig and Ardtalnaig, which lie on the south shore of Loch Tay in Highland Perthshire, and it makes extensive use of school logbooks and interviews with local inhabitants to build up a rounded picture of the ways in which social structures and patterns of activity have altered. Helen Young provides a simple background which sets out some of the views of leading sociologists and micro-historians before describing the geographical setting, with its combination of remoteness, a thin and scattered distribution of settlement and population, and difficult environment. The article looks at ‘communities of interest’, explaining how individuals interacted and how the two schools provided a tangible focus for the communities, and then considers church membership. Other ways of defining a community are introduced—‘symbolic constructions’ and economic and social structures, social roles, and intrinsic and intentional communities. The social hierarchy is analysed in terms of patterns of benevolence, locals and incomers, and identity and belonging. The article concludes with assessment of recent changes—alterations in local government structures, the closure of both schools, and the weakening tis of kinship.
Local Historian: Volume 45, Issue 4