Critically assess Homecoming Scotland 2009 as an example of globalisation. Homecoming Scotland 2009 was an incentive by the Scottish Government, organised by Events Scotland and Visit Scotland to bring everyone from across the world with Scottish ancestry back to Scotland in the year 2009 by organising a series of events in Scotland. Many of the events were based around the 250th birthday of Robert Burns but other events took influence from Scottish culture, whiskey, golf and the great minds of Scotland.
This essay will critically assess Homecoming Scotland 2009 as an example of Globalisation. It will discuss each part of Martell’s 5 criteria applied to Homecoming Scotland 2009 to determine how global it was. It will firstly explain what Martell’s 5 criteria are, then look each of them individually giving arguments to whether or not that they fit the criteria then will end with a conclusion. In order to use Luke Martell’s 5 criteria, laid out in his book ‘Sociology of Globalisation’ (2010), it is important to look at what the 5 criteria are and what they mean.
Martell’s model of globalisation is a ‘compression of space’ and for it to be complete and even it must make 5 criteria. The first of the criteria is that it must be Global in distance, this means that it must be truly global and reach all of the continents, affecting them equally. Secondly it also has to be global in its inputs and inclusive, and not just an extension of the one culture across the world but all feeding into it. The third one being interdependency, no just interconnection this meaning that it must directly include everyone involved and be one sided.
It also must be a stable structure in terms of global relations and finally it must be accessible to the masses. (Martell, 2010) Firstly the essay will discuss if Homecoming Scotland 2009 was Global in Distance, fulfilling the first part of Martell’s Criteria. At first it is very easy to argue that Homecoming Scotland 2009 was not Global in Distance, reasons for this are that the whole event was based in Scotland, and no other part of the world. The whole idea of the event was to bring Scots and those aboard who have some Scottish heritage to come the country. Homecoming Scotland 2009 (HS09) sought to motivate people of Scottish descent, Scottish residents and those who simply love Scotland, to visit in 2009 and take part in a celebration of the culture, heritage and the many contributions Scotland has given to the world. ‘(EKOS Ltd, 2010). This isn’t global in distance as Scotland, and its heritage isn’t something recognised globally. The ways in which it was Global in distance was the advert being shown in other parts of the world to bring people to Scotland. Also that it was to entice those from other parts of the world to Scotland.
Sim and Leith’s Journal paper ‘Diaspora tourists and the Scottish Homecoming 2009‘ (2013) includes the research that supports that it was successful in bringing those from aboard to Scotland. ’ –‘The countries most represented were Australia (19 people), the USA (15), New Zealand (11) and Canada (8),re? ecting the size of the Scottish diasporas in these places. ’ Even the name has some sort of global aspect as ‘Homecoming’ is a North American term usually used in schools where alumni return home to attend a dance.
Overall there is more to support Homecoming Scotland 2009 is not Global in Distance. As it doesn’t really doesn’t reach everyone across the globe especially when the advert was only shown in a few select countries. The arguments for global in distance also come under the next part of Martell’s Criteria Global in input/inclusive which the essay will now discuss. The amount of Global input into success of Homecoming Scotland 2009 is important as without the masses coming to Scotland to attend the events it wouldn’t have been a success.
The tourism from the other countries to Scotland was a large part of Homecoming Scotland 2009 and that’s why it is very much something that included a lot of Global input, but to argue that it is globally inclusive is very difficult. The events taken place under the Homecoming Scotland 2009 umbrella were based around Scottish culture and heritage, these are things that are not seen as globally inclusive as they are only known by those how live in Scotland or are familiar with them, although some events are known to take place else in the world; for example ‘Burns Suppers’.
The other way it wasn’t globally inclusive is that the whole event wasn’t very global in reach. Adverts and media for events were mainly aimed at those in countries such as USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. ‘Considering that the United States is already the strongest foreign market, the aim of the Homecoming 2009 campaign appears to be to boost an already popular constituency. ’ (Cassidy 2009) As afore mentioned without the global inputs from the tourists coming to Scotland the whole event would have not been a success, this leads to the discussion about the Interdependency of Homecoming Scotland.
Homecoming Scotland 2009 was organised around bringing many people back to Scotland, whether they be those who were born in Scotland and moved elsewhere or someone who has some sort of Scottish heritage along the line. The idea of increasing tourism by looking into diaspora had been looked at by the Scottish government for a while. ‘Speaking at Trinity College Dublin on February 13th 2008, Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, called for Scottish policy makers to study and extract lessons from the remarkable growth of the Irish economy from 1993.
The purpose of this report is to provide a comparative study of one area of public policy which hitherto has attracted much speculation but little serious analysis; that of diaspora and diaspora strategy. ’ (Ancien, Boyle and Kitchin, 2009) The Scottish Government thought that Homecoming Scotland 2009 would be a huge boost to economy and though they may have exaggerated the benefits of the yearlong events, and its contribution overall tourism to Scotland in 2009 overall by 0. 5%. ‘Dr Riddington told Holyrood’s economy, energy and tourism committee that Homecoming generated an extra 72,000 visitors, about 0. per cent of total tourists, and additional spending of ? 31. 6 million were “robust”. ’ (Johnson, 2010) In terms of globalisation and Martell’s criteria the evidence is heavy on the event not being interdependent. Its main purpose was to increase economic growth in Scotland which has no benefit to anywhere globally. A way in which Homecoming Scotland 2009 can be seen as interdependent is that that by maybe encouraging those to come back to Scotland they can visit family there, and the events provide something for them to do, with a fifth of visitors from aboard staying with friends or relatives (EKOS Report, 2010).
The next part of Martell’s 5 criteria is whether or not Homecoming Scotland 2009 was accessible to the masses. The launch of the Caledonia advert (available here: http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=ENq8CLKEnJo ) greatly opened up the events to the masses, as it was available online. This meant that anyone with access to the internet can see it, it was first shown in Scotland on television and in cinemas, before being shown in England, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
These select few countries already have a high amount of tourists who come to Scotland and are all wealthy westernized, so the view on bringing them here is again an economic purposes. This is not accessible to the masses as those from elsewhere in the world may not have the same access to money to get to Scotland like these countries do and they may feel excluded if they are not of Scottish heritage as the event was not aimed at them, this also lead to a decrease in tourism from the US ‘The Homecoming Scotland celebrations are on target to generate ? 4 million for the economy, but failed to prevent a 20 per cent drop in the number of visitors from the US. ’(Johnson, 2009). In terms of Global consciousness most of the people who came to the events were from the areas that were targeted. (Cassidy, 2010) Surprisingly though the way in which people found out about the events happening was Word of Mouth, so if they didn’t have someone telling them, most likely to be living in Scotland that it was going on they may have not been aware. (Figure 2. 2, EKOS Report, 2010).
The last part of Martell’s criteria for something to be globalised is that it must have a structure, involved by this has to be stability and regularity. There is a very set stability with Homecoming Scotland 2009 being aimed at those in USA and Canada as Scotland already has strong tourism links with these countries. There is also regularity with many of the events that took place in the year. Events such as Burns Suppers, Highland Games and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival are all events in which would happen in Scotland regardless of Homecoming Scotland 2009, so having them included was guaranteed revenue and to create interest.
Although the parts where stability lacks was the economic climate around 2009 and new events such as ‘The Gathering’ which seen a lot of home Scottish residents attending. ‘48 people (64%) had attended The Gathering in July 2009 in Holyrood Park and gave this as the main event that they attended; 45 people (60%) stated that they had attended clan gatherings in various parts of Scotland and the Clan Ross and Clan Cameron gatherings were speci? cally mentioned by several people. (Sim and Leith, 2013) The use of stereotypical Scottish imagery also is a form of structure as it makes everyone doesn’t deviate away from the images that people coming from aboard have about Scotland, making them want to see it in the flesh. ‘In Mr Russell’s firmament, haggis, neeps and Harry Lauder must lie down with art, literature and Glasvegas. There must be drinking and the reading of poetry. ’ (McKenna, 2009) In conclusion there are many factors to support that Homecoming Scotland 2009 is not an example Globalisation.
With so much of the events and media focused in Scotland and to those who identify with being Scottish it is not completely Global in terms set out by Martell. There are many global aspects to Homecoming Scotland 2009 including the people it brought to Scotland and where the knowledge of event reached but this is not strong enough to make it completely global. Scotland, its history and culture is something that may be identified by many across the world but it isn’t something identified with all over the world. With another Homecoming event planned for next year it will be interesting to see if it can reach further across the globe.
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