‘He’s a Good Soldier, He Cares About the Future’: Post-Feminist Masculinities, the IRA Man and ‘Peace’ in Northern Ireland

  • Sarah Edge


The period of the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland began in the 1960s (growing from a desire to challenge nationalist/Catholic inequality and led by the Civil Rights movement) and is now perceived as being ‘over’ as a consequence of the peace process and the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. As the peace process has begun to ‘bed down’ a number of theorists have turned their attention to critically examining the role that mass media representations played, and are still playing, in securing its success. Most studies1 have identified how the peace process had an economic imperative (connected to economic stability in Europe and the rise of neoliberalism), an analysis with which I would concur. However, much of my own research up to now has considered the role that mass media representations played in this process from a slightly different perspective. Drawing on contemporary feminist research, my concern has been to examine the reimaginings of national identity at the heart of the peace process from a feminist perspective, within the context of a ‘post-feminist’ popular culture. This work has prioritized the ways in which such shifts have impacted on contemporary understandings of both masculinity and femininity within Northern Ireland and correspondingly how, through a process of recuperation, such discourses have functioned to ‘exclude’ women from the peace process.


Gender Identity Peace Process Irish Society Male Violence Discursive Construction 
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© Sarah Edge 2014

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  • Sarah Edge

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