By Desmond Bell
Over the past twenty years, a chain of youth generations have come of age in strife-torn Ulster. children increase a feeling of ethnic expertise - as Ulster Protestant or Irish Catholic - in a state of affairs of political difficulty and sectarian war of words. utilizing ethnographic equipment, Desmond Bell explores the subcultural international of younger Loyalists and examines the position of teenage cultural practices within the copy of ethnic identification and within the reconstruction of culture in Irish society.
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Additional resources for Acts of Union: Youth Culture and Sectarianism in Northern Ireland
It was 'discovered' that compared with many urban areas of Britain, Northern Irish youth in fact exhibited statistically less 'anti-social behaviour'! 11 This latter corpus of research reported by Cairns (1987) and Heskin and Harbinson (1980) seems to be organized around the central concern of demonstrating to those outside Northern Ireland, the essential normality of Ulster's youth. The research addresses itself to the general effects of unemployment, urban deprivation and poverty on the young, rather than to the specific consequences of sectarian division and violence.
The provision was geared to getting young males off the street, a concern reflected in the limited orientation of the new centres to girls. As elsewhere the form of provision was a response to the 'masculine and delinquent conations of youth' (Niva, 1984). Girls continued to be underrepresented in youth club membership rolls and were poorly catered for in clubs' activities. This approach to youth policy has been quite explicitly correctional in character. That is to say, these programmes and the model of youthful deviance which informs them, concern themselves primarily with the identification and 'treatment' of supposedly 'abnormal' patterns of behaviour amongst the young particularly the working-class adolescent.
Since the end of the 1950s then, the position of youth in Irish society, north and south, has become inextricably associated in the popular mind with the experience of rapid industrialization and urbanization. The generation gap has been stretched out within the popular imagination along the axis of modernization. Youth subcultures, where they have been accorded recognition at all, have been understood in age-specific terms. Youth culture, like the era of affluence it betokens in the Irish popular imagination, is represented as a classless cosmopolitan phenomenon essentially generational in character.
Acts of Union: Youth Culture and Sectarianism in Northern Ireland by Desmond Bell