Rural History

Research Article

Getting Out and Getting On: Scottish Highland Migration in the First Half of the Twentieth Century1

Catherine Macleana1

a1 Department of Sociology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

This paper draws on data collected for the author's doctoral thesis (Maclean, 1997), which examined migration and social change in remote rural areas. The research took place mainly in 1995–6, and consisted of tape-recorded interviews and 18 months' ethnographic fieldwork in a parish in the Scottish Highlands, and the use of data including the Census Small Area Statistics and Register of Sasines. Although informed by the research as a whole, the central focus of this paper is data drawn from twenty interviews with members of fifteen families, most of whom were born in the first three decades of the twentieth century. A further ten people provided supplementary data in interviews in which family migration patterns were not the main focus (see table 1 for details). Places and people involved in the research have been given pseudonyms to protect anonymity, privacy and confidentiality, in accordance with the British Sociological Association's Ethical Guidelines.


1 I would like to thank: David McCrone, Lynn Jamieson, Liz Bellamy and two anonymous referees for their comments on an earlier version of this paper; the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland for the financial support of a doctoral studentship; and, last but certainly not least, the residents of Beulach.