The 'Future Generation'
: National Identity among Young People in Wales

  • Catherine Davies

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Sociological theorists conventionally see national identity as 'shaped' by large-scale social institutions that operate across a national territory. In this context national identity is a collective phenomenon produced by generic processes of cultural and political socialization. More recent research has, by contrast, turned the spotlight on the individual, with a specific emphasis on national identity being actively produced as an ongoing part of social life. This new body of work focuses on 'local' experiences and influences rather than on general 'national' processes such as state education systems and the media.

    This thesis draws on work from both of these approaches. It considers the substantial body of work on national identity as 'shaped' by social institutions, and, in particular, concentrates on three areas that feature prominently in the literature: culture, history and land/territory. It also examines more recent research on national identity, exploring how it is understood among young people. The focus here is on national identity as the outcome of a process of interaction with life in an individual's locality and also as a result of wider influences such as education, media and, in particular, popular culture. The research presents a case study of 16-18 year olds living in the city of Cardiff and the south Wales valleys. This research explores the participants' views of and concerns about 'national culture', 'homeland' and 'national history'. Moreover, in light of work on globalization the study considers how young people view the significance of global and transnational influences for their locality and their nation.
    Date of Award2004
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorAndrew Thompson (Supervisor)


    • Nationalism
    • National Identity
    • Wales
    • Young People

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