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    Class, Ethnicity and Political Identity in Northern Ireland

    Coulter, Colin (1994) Class, Ethnicity and Political Identity in Northern Ireland. Irish Journal of Sociology, 4 (1). pp. 1-26. ISSN 0791-6035

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    The formal purpose of this paper is to offer a critical examination of the social and political philosophy of electoral integrationism. The critique of electoral integrationism is employed as a means by which to explore the relationship between class, ethnicity and political identity in contemporary Northern Ireland. The paper tenders two principal contentions. First, I challenge the view that the ethnoreligious divisions existent within the province are aberrant and irrational. I claim instead that political sectarianism in the six counties may be more faithfully conceived as a rational and perhaps inevitable reflection of the manner in which northern society is structured and experienced. Secondly, I argue that whilst political identity in Northern Ireland may be fashioned primarily by ethnicity, it also bears the indelible impression of class sentiment and experience. It is the particular nature of the articulation between class and ethnic identity in modern Northern society which renders the present conflict so apparently intractable. The paper concludes with the suggestion that, given the material foundations of ethnoreligious sentiment, the eradication of political sectarianism in the six counties will require radical structural reform.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Class; Ethnicity; Political Identity; Northern Ireland;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
    Item ID: 11948
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Colin Coulter
    Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2019 15:55
    Journal or Publication Title: Irish Journal of Sociology
    Publisher: A & A Farmar
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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