a British context of local and global change. Different generations of Irish men
going to Britain include those of the Famine, the post-Second World War, the
1980s ‘Ryanair’ migrants and the current post-Celtic Tiger, transnational generation of Skype/Facebook users.2 The second section explores changing
self-representations, social practices and cultural journeys among Irish men. We
draw upon narratives of different generations that we have collected across
different cities that include stories about workplace identities, friendship, cultural
relationship to identity construction, many cultural commentators share a number of theoretical assumptions regarding the
body, gender and sexuality post-AIDS. This commonality
concerns an assumption that the visual field, particularly vis-à-vis
eroticised images of safer sex, works to break down and/or transgress a stable heterosexual masculine identity, to the extent that
for many social and cultural theorists such images have been
assumed to incite a crisis of the male body and a crisis of heterosexual masculinity.
In making this assumption explicit this chapter aims to
tradition, resistance, victimhood, and masculinity.
Northern soul: the Scots as ersatz ancestors
As we have seen, European heritage enthusiasts can face several problems when
attempting to rediscover and celebrate their own past. It may be that their history and traditions are either lost, unknown, not taught at school, or that they
seem boring, lacking the songs, legends, and costumes which would make their
celebration exciting. Many Scots of Europe have tried to embrace their more
obvious roots but were disappointed:
The problem with Dutch old music is that it is a
In my search for tidy conclusions and a singular
confirmation of the meaning of sport in the Black Atlantic, I came up
empty handed, or “wit’ me two long arms” as cricket
club members might say. There are so many dimensions to the
transnational flows of peoples and cultures of the Afro-Caribbean
diaspora that have important bearing on how we think about black
What role does memory play in migrants’ adaption to the emotional challenges of migration? How are migrant selfhoods remade in relation to changing cultural myths? This book, the first to apply Popular Memory Theory to the Irish diaspora, opens new lines of critical enquiry within scholarship on the Irish in modern Britain. Combining innovative use of migrant life histories with cultural representations of the post-war Irish experience, it interrogates the interaction between lived experience, personal memory and cultural myth to further understanding of the work of memory in the production of migrant subjectivities. Based on richly contextualised case studies addressing experiences of emigration, urban life, work, religion and the Troubles in England, chapters illuminate the complex and contingent relationship between politics, culture and migrant identities, developing a dynamic view of the lived experience of British–Irish relations after 1945. Where memory is often regarded as a mechanism of antagonism within this relationship, Life History shows how migrants’ ‘recompose’ memories of migration as part of ongoing efforts to adapt to the transition between cultures and places. As well as shedding new light on the collective fantasies of post-war migrants and the circumstances which formed them, Life History thus illustrates the cultural and personal dynamics of subjective change over time: migrants located themselves as the subjects of a diverse and historically evolving repertoire of narratives, signalling adaption, difference and integration as co-articulating features of the Irish experience in post-1945 England.
Myth, memory and masculinity in Irish men’s narratives of work in the British construction industry
industry in the period since the end of the war’. 4 Yet if post-war labour demands fostered a greater diffusion of Irish labour within the British economy, contemporary representations of the Irish migrant continued to associate him with heavy, ‘unskilled’ labour and with brutish propensities for drinking and fighting at odds with the domestication of masculinity valorised within discourses on post-war moral reconstruction. 5 This was apparent, not only in the observations of Catholic social scientists, concerned priests and Catholic welfare workers, but in local
community, to celebrate blackness and masculinity, and to establish
themselves as part of a local community. I delve into their activities
before, during and after games that mark them as part of a bounded
Liming : creating Afro-Caribbean social spaces and
For many of the Mavericks, playing
cricket in Canada meant playing in cold weather for the first time
A chess-player is not simply one who plays chess just as a chess piece is not simply a wooden block. Shaped by expectations and imaginations, the figure occupies the centre of a web of a thousand radiations where logic meets dream, and reason meets play. This book aspires to a novel reading of the figure as both a flickering beacon of reason and a sign of monstrosity. It is underpinned by the idea that the chess-player is a pluralistic subject used to articulate a number of anxieties pertaining to themes of mind, machine, and monster. The history of the cultural chess-player is a spectacle, a collision of tradition and recycling, which rejects the idea of the statuesque chess-player. The book considers three lives of the chess-player. The first as sinner (concerning behavioural and locational contexts), as a melancholic (concerning mind-bending and affective contexts), and as animal (concerning cognitive aspects and the idea of human-ness) from the medieval to the early-modern within non-fiction. The book then considers the role of the chess-player in detective fiction from Edgar Allan Poe to Raymond Chandler, contrasting the perceived relative intellectual reputation and social utility of the chess-player and the literary detective. IBM's late-twentieth-century supercomputer Deep Blue, Wolfgang von Kempelen's 1769 Automaton Chess-Player and Garry Kasparov's 1997 defeat are then examined. The book examines portrayals of the chess-player within comic-books of the mid-twentieth century, considering themes of monstrous bodies, masculinities, and moralities. It focuses on the concepts of the child prodigy, superhero, and transhuman.
The challenge of Dónal Óg Cusack’s ‘coming out’ to heteronormativity in contemporary Irish culture and society
Debbie Ging and Marcus Free
’s sexuality was framed in the context of his sportsmanship, his masculinity and his Irishness. For example, we ask whether the ostensible incongruousness of homosexuality and male team sportsmanship was foregrounded in the coverage and whether Cusack’s sexuality was perceived as a threat to or compatible with received understandings of Irish manhood. Finally, we consider what the visibility of an openly gay GAA player might mean for LGBT sports people in Ireland. While difficult, owing to the inevitably personal nature of an autobiography, it is important to distinguish
he had to leave: ‘They all stood around
me,’ he told his mother. ‘I had no choice but to sign the release papers.’ She
He came home and he sat there and he broke down. He was down and out for
months, probably a year or two with that. And this [cosmetic surgery] operation
was meant to be an end and a beginning, to end everything, to get his body the
way he wanted it to be.
One way of framing this bullying and Leigh’s subsequent actions is to
deploy Raewyn Connell’s ( 2005) concept of hegemonic masculinity.
She explains how the most idealised and