By Desmond Bell
During the last twenty years, a sequence of teen generations have come of age in strife-torn Ulster. adolescents enhance a feeling of ethnic understanding - as Ulster Protestant or Irish Catholic - in a state of affairs of political situation and sectarian war of words. utilizing ethnographic tools, Desmond Bell explores the subcultural global of younger Loyalists and examines the function of stripling cultural practices within the copy of ethnic id and within the reconstruction of culture in Irish society.
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Extra resources for Acts of Union: Youth Culture and Sectarianism in Northern Ireland
That age and generation mattered most, or that Youth Culture was 'incipiently classless' - even, that 'youth' itself had become a class (1976). 38 Acts of Union This media-inspired representation of youth culture had the effect of underplaying the significance of class differences in 1960s England. The pop sociology of youth was also imported into the Irish media and reinforced a popular perception of youth culture as a universal harbinger of modernity and affluence. In Ireland, of course, the significance of class differences and conflicts has been further obscured within popular consciousness, by a rhetoric of national identity and community.
This correctional stance articulated well with official constructions of sectarianism as a 'social problem' which could be tackled by clearly-delimited, state-sponsored initiatives in the field of education and youth work. The British state, since the imposition of Direct Rule in 1972, has indeed continued to represent the 'Ulster Question' as a social problem rather than an issue of contested sovereignty. From the perspective of Stormont Castle sectarian divisions are invariably seen as the cause rather than the effect of the political conflict.
The ethnie is then a type of symbolic community in which discriminations are made as regards outsiders. It is in other words a repository of boundary-defining symbols; a socially shared discourse of myths, images and communicative codes through which an imagined community coheres and lives its ideological relations with outsiders. Seen as such, certain types of contemporary urban ethnicity display a certain 'homology of form' to urban working class youth culture. Both are orchestrated around a focal concern with the policing of territorial and cultural boundaries.
Acts of Union: Youth Culture and Sectarianism in Northern Ireland by Desmond Bell