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Episode 8 - Class in Northern Ireland, a family history

The Partition of Ireland talks programme in partnership with BBC Logo
Professor Henry Patterson
University of Ulster
Date: 14/06/2021
Talk 8 New

Class in Northern Ireland, a family history

For the vast majority of people who lived in Northern Ireland from partition to the Troubles the most important determinant of their life chances was the social class into which they were born.

Focusing on the history of one working class family this talk considers central issues of class, unemployment, sectarian division and labour politics.


About Professor Henry Patterson

Henry Patterson is Emeritus Professor of Irish Politics at Ulster University.  He has published widely on modern Irish and Northern Irish history with a particular emphasis on the dimension of social class. Among his publications are Class Conflict and Sectarianism (1980), The State in Northern Ireland:  Political Forces and Social Classes (1979), The Politics of Illusion; Republicanism and Socialism in Modern Ireland (1989), Ireland Since 1939 The Persistence of Conflict (2007), Unionism and Orangeism in Northern Ireland since 1945 (2007) and Ireland's Violent Frontier: The Border and Anglo-Irish Relations during the Troubles (2016) 

Further Reading
  • Aaron Edwards, A History of the Northern Ireland Labour Party (Manchester University Press, 2009) 
  • Austen Morgan, Labour and Partition: The Belfast Working Class 1905-23 (Pluto Press, 1991) 
  • Sean O'Connell, 'An Age of Conservative Modernity' in S.J. Connolly ed. Belfast 400 People, Place and History (Liverpool University Press, 2012) 
  • Philip Ollerenshaw, Northern Ireland in the Second World War (Manchester University Press, 2013) 
  • Henry Patterson, Class Conflict and Sectarianism (republished as an ebook 2015) 
  • Henry Patterson, Ireland since 1939 The Persistence of Conflict (Penguin, 2007) 
  • Connall Parr, Inventing the Myth: Political Passions and the Ulster Protestant Imagination (OUP, 2017)