Why Examine Men, Masculinities and Religion in Northern Ireland?
Northern Ireland’s history, and especially that of The Troubles of 1968–98 has received considerable, though far from exhaustive scholarly attention in recent decades. Nonetheless, in much of the scholarship, the centrality of religion and religious differences are elided with emphasis placed on other factors such as economics and class. Much of this scholarship, while gaining some credibility in the academy outside Northern Ireland at the time, has recently been criticised as ahistorical and decontextualised analysis. In this chapter, the tensions and connections between religion, politics and gender formations in Northern Ireland’s history are examined, as is some of the interdisciplinary problems in extant scholarship. Particular emphasis is placed upon religious sectarianism, the centrality of religion in politics and life in the new Northern Ireland state after 1921, and the ways in which these shaped and were shaped by masculinities in Northern Ireland society.
KeywordsProportional Representation Hegemonic Masculinity Interwar Period Home Rule Catholic Population
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