Dissertation on culture and identity of the Scots-Italians

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Hello, I am a geography student from Glasgow University. I am attempting to gather information for use in my dissertation, which is about the experiences, culture and identity of the Scots-Italians as well as that of Italians in Scotland. I am interested in this subject because my fathers family are from Barga. I would be very grateful for any time you could spare to help with this.

I would appreciate any answers or opinions you could give to any of the following questions. Please feel free to answer as many or as few as you wish and your answers can be as long or as short as you wish. Any other opinions, stories or suggestions about the Scots-Italians would also be greatly appreciated.

All contributions are welcome even if you are not a Scot-Italian but have opinions on the the subject or Italian immigration in general.

Every piece of information will help a great deal in my dissertation. Please also pass these questions on to friends or family that may want to contribute. Please send any feedback or queries to my email: or even posts on the forum. I am also conducting face to face interviews, so if you would like to be interviewed about this subject just let me know.

Please indicate on any response whether you will allow me to quote or paraphrase your response in my dissertation. If people are unsure about this I can quote anonymously or with a pseudonym of your choosing.

Thank you for your help.

Mark Lucherini



Whereabouts in Italy is your family from?

How long have you or your family moved from Italy?

Have you had many experiences being confronted with stereotypes such as ‘chippies’ or ‘pointy hats’ or other assumptions and stereotypes about Scots-Italian lifestyle?

How do feel about these stereotypes? Are they damaging? Do they reinforce a specific ‘other’ identity? Are they taken as harmless humour?

Who promulgates these rumours?

How do you think these stereotypes affect Scots-Italians who do not work in these professions? Is there a stigma of ‘chippies’ attached to new generations of Scots-Italians?

Do you feel as if there is a specific Scots-Italian identity? What characterises this identity?

How integrated would you say the Scots-Italian community is in Glasgow?

Is language important in maintaining an Italian identity?
Is there a sense of a ‘true’ Scots-Italian? What makes a ‘true’ Scots-Italian? Must a true Scots-Italian be able to speak both English and Italian?

Do you feel that there is a distinct Scots-Italian community in Glasgow? Is this community based on familial relations or of people coming form the same area of Italy? Is there a feeling of comradeship or friendship based on a common identity? Do Scots-Italians regularly meet, hold events etc…? Is it possible to be a Scots-Italian without being part of this community?

Is the Scots-Italian community a network of social contacts, meetings or events and not necessarily a physical area or neighbourhood? Do you feel is if there is a system of nodes and networks for Scots-Italians, or would you say that there is a more distinct presence of Scots-Italians?

For instance does this community have spatial manifestations such as a residential area, or a business area or a social area? For instance is there any kind of informal understanding amongst Scots-Italians of the ‘best’ places to live or the ‘best’ places to start a business?

Many Scots-Italians have origins in small village in Italy. Do you feel that there has been a culture clash between older generations from Italy and the younger generations who have grown up in Scotland?

Do Italian restaurants, cafes offer an escape from Glasgow to an authentic Italy? Do they feel like attempts to claim some foreign land as Italian? Or are they a unique amalgamation Italian and Scottish culture open to both Italians and Scots alike?

Were you or was anyone you know interned by the British government under the fear that Scots-Italians could be spies or saboteurs during WWII?

Do feel that this situation has left over any feelings of animosity among or against the Scots-Italians?

Do you know if there was a sense of Italian-Scots children during the war trying to hide their Italianness? Trying to become ‘invisible’ or escape traditional occupations?

Do you think that some Scots-Italians still try to hide their Italianness today?

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Very feminine face that boy has, would make a nice transvestite 😀


Alternatively click on the link below for an easy to complete web survey with the same questions.

Thank you