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- PublicationLocal belonging, identities and sense of place in contemporary Ireland(University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2009)What importance does identity with place have in the ongoing construction and redevelopment of personal and social identities? This paper follows on from recent research which suggests that in an increasingly geographically mobile and globalised societies like Ireland, a sense of place is still a strong marker of identity and central to people’s knowledge and understanding of themselves and others. Combining findings quantitative findings from the International Social Survey Project with qualitative findings from a qualitative study of Contemporary Irish Identities, I show that not only is identity with place of living still very strong, but that it is deep and complex and enmeshed with a sense of belonging to the place where people grew up, the wider county and the nation.
- PublicationCatholic identity, habitus and practice in contemporary Ireland(University College Dublin. Institute for the Study of Social Change (Geary Institute), 2004-12)
- PublicationCatholic Identity in Contemporary Ireland: Belief and Belonging to Tradition(Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2007)Holy Catholic Ireland is changing rapidly. Irish Catholics no longer have the same devotion to the Church that their parents had. While institutional affiliation and levels of belief remain high, there has been a decline in practice, particularly in the number going to Mass. This paper analyses recent changes in Catholic belief and practice, compares them with trends among other European Catholics, and links them to findings from a qualitative study of Contemporary Irish Identities. The changes in Irish Catholic religiosity can be associated with an ongoing detachment from the institutional church. An orthodox adherence to institutional rules and regulations appears to be giving way to a collective identification with a religious heritage. What was once defined as á la carte Catholicism seems to be giving way to a more smorgasbord approach in which Catholics not only pick and chose which institutional rules, beliefs and practices they prefer but, increasingly, mix these with ingredients from other religious traditions. These findings suggest a new typology of Irish Catholics.
3667Scopus© Citations 81
- PublicationLocal and national belonging in a globalised world : the case of contemporary Ireland(Manchester University Press, 2011-11)
;The question of place is becoming more important in an increasingly globalised, cosmopolitan world. Has the global flow of culture and the movement of people around the world meant a decline in the importance of place as a form of identity? Have local, regional and national identities lost their significance for people? The article begins to explore these key issues. In particular it looks at Ireland which, from the 1990s, moved from being relatively insular and homogeneous to becoming one of the most globalised societies. The authors use a mixed method approach. First they examine data from the International Social Survey Project (ISSP) to see if there is any evidence of a decline in identity with place, how this varies between rural and urban dwellers, and levels of age and education. They then use findings from a qualitative study to examine the complex ways in which people talk about and identify with place, where they were brought up, where they live now and being Irish. The findings show that level of identity with place is still strong in Ireland and in some cases is increasing. The authors argue that increased identification with the local is an equal and opposite reaction to globalisation. 900Scopus© Citations 15
- PublicationThe Global and the Local : Mapping Changes in Irish Childhood(Irish-American Cultural Institute, 2011-12)The global image of Ireland has changed. It has moved from De Valera’s dream of a nation of romping, sturdy children, athletic youths and comely maidens, to one in which innocent boys and girls were incarcerated in industrial and reformatory schools where they were demeaned, abused, and brutalized. And yet the Irish seemed deeply committed to children, at least to having them. Throughout most of the twentieth century Irish fertility was higher than that in most other Western societies. It would appear that successive generations of women who married wanted to have large families. For many people, growing up with numerous brothers and sisters was central to childhood. Now fertility is more controlled, families are smaller, and more mothers are working. Given this change in demographics, Luddy and Smith (2009, 6) ask some simple questions: “What if anything is new about how childhood is currently understood in Ireland? How has the understanding of Irish childhood changed over time? And how do earlier conceptions of Irish childhood feed into and/or inform more recent conceptualizations?” One of the main changes is that married women no longer see themselves simply or primarily as mothers, and that the reduction in family size, together with an increase in economic prosperity, has led to changes in the way that children are seen, understood, and treated, which in turn has led to a new sense of self among Irish children.
1105Scopus© Citations 2
- PublicationOrigins and legacies of Irish prudery: Sexuality and social control in modern Ireland(Irish American Cultural Institute, 2005-05)The history of Irish sexuality remains a relatively hidden, secretive area. In recent years some light has been cast into the abyss (Inglis 1998b; McAvoy 1999; McLoughlin 1994; Meany 1991; Walshe 1997; O’Carroll and Collins 1995). Most of the recent grand histories, however, have avoided dealing with sex and sexuality directly and have focused instead on such issues as censorship, the multi-faceted role of the Catholic church, fertility control, and, more recently, the sex-abuse scandals involving the Catholic church.1 It is as if the old Catholic-church strategy of not referring directly to sex and sexuality—for fear that it might offend or undermine the innocent—still guides what historians research and write about.
11718Scopus© Citations 68
- PublicationSociological Forensics : Illuminating the Whole from the Particular(Sage, 2010-06)A central task in sociology is to make links between the micro world of events in everyday life and wider social structures and long-term processes of change. This is particularly evident in studying the impact of globalization on local cultural life. I argue that case studies are a good method for making connections between the micro and the macro. I use an example of a study of globalization I conducted in a village in Ireland. However, I also argue that within each case study there will be clues, episodes or events which, when analysed with the appropriate theories and concepts, will illuminate the micro and macro connections. This is what I mean by sociological forensics. I justify this approach by grounding it in sociological theory and pointing out how versions of it have been used in some classical case studies.
1522Scopus© Citations 9
- PublicationThe double bind : Women, honour and sexuality in contemporary Ireland(Sage, 2012-01)
;Irish women are caught in contradictory sexual discourses which create a cultural double bind. The legacy of Catholic Church teaching, in which the sexual honour of women revolves around their innocence and subservience, still lingers. This is gradually being replaced by media messages and images which portray women as sexually equal and independent. However, the media also portray sexually independent women as a threat to sexual moral order. The double bind reproduces double standards. The cultural contradictions in the way women are portrayed are revealed in an analysis of the reporting of events surrounding a court case involving the sexual assault of a woman. This analysis is put within the context of media reporting of other cases of sexually transgressive women. 1210Scopus© Citations 18