The importance of national stereotypes lies not in wheter they reflect a reality, past or present, but wheter they are part of our consciousness and, as such, may influence behaviour. This is obviously a significant issue in the study of territorial politics. The dynamics of nationalist and regionalist movements may originate in economic and social chanve but without some perception of an historical, cultural or geografical identity which is distinctive, political action could not take the same form.
Perceptions of identity can never be value-neutral. They are strongly value-laden.
To read more about The uses and abuses of national stereotypes you can download this article Scottish Affairs, n.20, summer 1997 The Uses and Abuses of National Sterotypes Isabel Lindsay