Irish Identity

Heterosexual Norms
  • Jennifer M. Jeffers


With this chapter we concentrate on novels that depict gender, sexual, and cultural norms in contemporary Ireland. We want to see how the body is typically presented and functions, how gender is typically established and regulated, and how these functions and regulations socially and culturally construct the “Irish Identity” in the 1990s novel. What will become apparent and is of keen interest to us is the way in which heterosexual boundaries are established then crossed. One of the major themes of the novels discussed in this chapter is female agency in a patriarchal, heterosexual society. An aspect that emerges in The Woman Who Walked Into Doors by Roddy Doyle and Titanic Town by Mary Costello is that female agency is limited, is circumscribed by the power structures in place, and is a historical reality. In both novels it is the female agency issue that most clearly demarcates the boundaries of sexuality and gender, the body and power.


Domestic Violence Battered Woman Female Agency Power Matrix Male Violence 
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© Jennifer M. Jeffers 2002

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  • Jennifer M. Jeffers

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