Contemporary Northern Irish Society: An Introduction by Colin Coulter

By Colin Coulter

This is a serious assessment of a number of the resources of social and political id in Northern eire. The e-book examines the most important variables of sociology - prestige, category and gender and, as a consequence, ethno-religion - and explains why ethno-religious sentiment has develop into the main resource of political identification. a number issues are lined: the position and standing of ladies; the representations of the clash and peace technique within the media; activity; and the significance of renowned music.

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Sample text

This has been true at both club and international level. Local soccer in the province has been traditionally dominated by teams based in Belfast. Patterns of football allegiance in the regional capital have inevitably betrayed the existence of territorial and ethnopolitical loyalties. The intense competition that exists between Belfast clubs often acknowledges the divergent ethnoreligious composition of their followers. Historically one of the keenest rivalries within the Irish League was that between Linfield, whose supporters are overwhelmingly loyalists, and Belfast Celtic, whose fans were almost all nationalists.

Nationalists frequently seek to advance their particular interests through pacific means including intellectual debate, electioneering and civil disobedience. On countless occasions, however, the enterprise of nationalism has given rise to political violence. The recent history of Northern Ireland unfortunately confirms this particular lamentable trend. Since the late 1960s the antagonistic nationalisms that seem to exist within the six counties have authored a conflict that has claimed 3,500 lives.

An alternative reading might suggest that the form that the tie assumed merely underscores the abiding fragility of political relations in the six counties. That the game had to be played in the morning, before a crowd restricted to merely a fraction of what it would otherwise have been, attests to the depth of the communal antagonism that persists in the province. The ethnoreligious prejudice that infests association football in Northern Ireland is exemplified best perhaps in the recruitment practices of the province’s most successful club side.

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