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Travellers in the text

This book traces a number of common themes relating to the representation of Irish Travellers in Irish popular tradition and how these themes have impacted on Ireland's collective imagination. A particular focus of the book is on the exploration of the Traveller as ‘Other’, an ‘Other’ who is perceived as both inside and outside Ireland's collective ideation. Frequently constructed as a group whose cultural tenets are in a dichotomous opposition to those of the ‘settled’ community, the book demonstrates the ambivalence and complexity of the Irish Traveller ‘Other’ in the context of a European postcolonial country. Not only have the construction and representation of Travellers always been less stable and ‘fixed’ than previously supposed, these images have been acted upon and changed by both the Traveller and non-Traveller communities as the situation has demanded. Drawing primarily on little-explored Irish language sources, the book demonstrates the fluidity of what is often assumed as reified or ‘fixed’. As evidenced in Irish-language cultural sources, the image of the Traveller is inextricably linked with the very concept of Irish identity itself. They are simultaneously the same and ‘Other’, and frequently function as exemplars of the hegemony of native Irish culture as set against colonial traditions.

Abstract only
Mark S. Dawson

In much Anglo-American scholarship, the mid-seventeenth century marks a gradual yet decisive turning point in how the English gauged bodily variation and the consequences of drawing social distinctions based upon it. Particularly in the context of New World colonies coming to depend on chattel slavery, the crux of ‘whites’ versus ‘blacks’ slowly took hold thereafter. Over the next century, continued dispossession of America’s first peoples would forge a third term, ‘reds’. Since this reduction of people to their skin-colour(s), racism has stalked Anglophone culture even if explanations of how and why pigmentation differs have changed. But we should be wary of assuming that evidence of populations – English, African, or American – first being identified using still familiar terms proves a kind of Ur-moment in the history of bodily prejudice and attendant inequality. Studies have claimed to trace the emergence of racism – after untold instances of the subjugation and enslavement of non-Europeans in the Anglo-Atlantic – on the basis that central cultural tenets prevented and then inhibited it. The humoral body was profoundly mutable and variations in its distinguishing features, including skin, were therefore transient. Equally, however, humans were believed all one, by courtesy of their descent from Adam and Eve.

in Bodies complexioned
The roots of 1960s activism and the making of the British left
Celia Hughes

of belonging, and adopting the social and cultural tenets of their new homeland was a method of survival in a society in which to be a Jew was not an invitation to social acceptance. Tony Kushner has argued that in the immediate post-war years, austerity and the retreat from Empire resulted in a loss of esteem that contributed to a new inward-looking English national identity.40 The immigration policies of the British government carried a clear message about which outsiders could or could not become British. As David Cesarani has stated, ‘East Europeans were deemed

in Against the grain
Katy Hayward

language’ and the latter as an ‘official language’ (Article 4). Thus, officially neutral in terms of religious and cultural tenets, 4 the definition of the Irish nation was territorially based, i.e. its membership consisted of all the people on the island of Ireland. Official discourse at this time encapsulates the conceptualisation of the Irish nation on an all-island basis. Cosgrave, as President of the Free State, regularly used such rhetoric, as shown in this quotation from 1923: And of course, as a nation Ireland has no land frontier at all . . . The present

in Irish nationalism and European integration
Tom Scriven

the movement, pitched as a solution for the social and wider existential problems with urban, industrial life and labour that the trade depression and strikes had thrown into sharp focus. In attempting to solve these problems the Land Plan is notable for drawing on the same intellectual and counter-​cultural tenets as the ethical Radicalism that had developed across Chartism after 1840. While it was intended as a political and social project that would solve political and social problems, the Land Plan became a systematic attempt to overcome moral degradation and

in Popular virtue
Celia Hughes

injustices they observed. In the 1950s children of Jewish refugees struggled to live up to the task of belonging bestowed upon them from birth. They inhabited an imagined image of ‘other’ conjured from unspoken signals parents and older relatives transmitted. For this wartime generation, becoming English offered the protection of belonging, and adopting the social and cultural tenets of their new homeland was a method of survival in a society in which to be a Jew was not an invitation to social acceptance. Tony Kushner has argued that in the immediate post-war years

in Young lives on the Left
Cara Diver

Countrywomen’s Association (ICA), for instance, endeavoured to improve living conditions for women in rural Ireland by campaigning for amenities, such as running water, electricity, and better housing. As Earner-Byrne writes, ‘The ICA was such a potent source of support precisely because it was embedded in Irish society, because it valued the basic social and cultural tenets of that society and wished to protect a living rural community with women at the centre of its future.’53 Although Ireland may have a stronger tradition of feminism than has previously been acknowledged

in Marital violence in post-independence Ireland, 1922–96