Presentation by Professor Jennifer Todd (UCD) and Sarah Curristan (TCD)
Registration is at https://bit.ly/2J3uTnl
After conflict it is important to know whether and how boundaries are being eroded. The growing literature on 'moderates’, the 'middle ground’ and the 'others’ in Northern Ireland uses various definitions of this group, and is clearer on its extent than on its ideas and argumentation. In this presentation we look briefly at the history of scholarship on the moderates in Northern Ireland and suggest why they may be different today. We take a set of recent qualitative ethnographic interviews with people in mixed areas and mixed organizations in Northern Ireland – whom we thought were highly likely to be 'moderates’ in the sense of being likely to reconstruct traditional boundaries, and who turned out to be so. We ask the following questions:
- How do they position themselves with respect to the major social-political cleavages? How do they make their boundaries? As cosmopolitan, everyday universalist, pluralist, transformationist and/or something else?
- How does this relate to their way of dealing with contentious political issues (Brexit, flags, Irish unity). Following Lamont et al, we categorise these responses as bypassing, confronting or engaging in self-work.
- What are the patterns? Are people in the East more cosmopolitan, as our initial qualitative readings suggested?
- What does this tell us about the political role of moderates in Northern Ireland today?
This is work in progress, and the presentation will discuss the theoretical framing, the method, and interim results.
- Event type
Lecture / Talk / Discussion
School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work