Pluralist, purified or private : protestant identification and political change in Northern Ireland
20T14:22:36Z July 2010
The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the responsiveness of national and religious identifications to political change amongst Protestants in Northern Ireland. I begin by theorising identification as a process of working out our ideas of self, others and place in which political change compels a rethinking of identity from the bottom up. I proceed to outline how the Good Friday agreement changes the political landscape from the perspective of the Protestant community. Then, based on a narrative analysis of interview data collected in 2000, I map three main directions of change amongst Protestants as people come to accept, reject or ignore political developments after the agreement. I conclude that Protestant identifications can open up and transform where people have had positive social experiences with the “other”, and feel that their future position in Northern Ireland is not tethered to communal membership. Conversely, identifications become more oppositional or private where people have had negative social experiences (or none at all) with the “other” and perceive that membership of the Protestant community, which they feel is losing out from change, will decide their fortunes in a new Northern Ireland.
Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Type of Material
University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies
IBIS Working Papers
Copyright (Published Version)
The author, 2002
Subject – LCSH
Identity (Psychology)--Religious aspects
Religion and politics--Northern Ireland
Status of Item
Revised version of a paper presented at the ECPR 29th Joint Sessions, Workshop on Identity Politics, Grenoble, France, 6-11 April 2001.
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License