Paul Gilfillan: Indy debate is shaped by class, research says
COMMENT: Paul Gilfillan, programme leader in psychology and sociology at Queen Margaret University, reports on the class aspect of the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence.
Gilfillan, writing as part of the Friends of the Scotsman scheme, looks at the self-interest and determinism displayed by members of various social strata across Scotland.
As a lecturer in sociology, I chat with many students who are researching some aspect of the independence referendum, and students researching middle-class people in and around Edinburgh tell me this class is unionist to their core and will vote no in September.
During seminar work we discuss why the middle classes are solidly pro-union, and I encourage students to consider the basic proposition that this alignment of class and politics in favour of unionism is an example of social determination; that if there is unanimity between a class and a political-come-constitutional position, then there must be a clear benefit that accrues to the middle classes as a result of being in a political union with England. And this benefit is not difficult to locate.