Searching for and explaining difference
in Are the Irish different?
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This chapter argues that when it comes to describing and analysing Irish difference there is a limited range of theories and methods used. It suggests that greater emphasis be given to the body, emotions and the strategies in which people use Irishness to create their own identities, sense of self and cultural distinction. A coercive view of social action would see Irish cultural difference as a myth, a form of symbolic domination that creates an illusion of collective responsibility and papers over social and economic inequalities. Instead of seeing the Irish as indigenously different, it might be better to focus on how Irish people construct their sense of difference through combining global cultural elements with local and national elements of culture. Irish cultural difference has always been created and maintained through mixing and matching the local with the global.

Editor: Tom Inglis

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