By Desmond Bell
Over the past twenty years, a chain of teenybopper generations have come of age in strife-torn Ulster. teenagers improve a feeling of ethnic understanding - as Ulster Protestant or Irish Catholic - in a state of affairs of political quandary and sectarian war of words. utilizing ethnographic equipment, Desmond Bell explores the subcultural global of younger Loyalists and examines the position of teenage cultural practices within the copy of ethnic identification and within the reconstruction of culture in Irish society.
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Extra info for Acts of Union: Youth Culture and Sectarianism in Northern Ireland
Youth was treated as a 'category at risk'. The basic questions asked by researchers such as Frazer and Lyons, both of whom were psychiatrists practising in Belfast, was whether the experiences of Ulster's adolescents had left them resistant to the rule of law or indeed any control. As Lyons (1973) was to ask: But what will happen when a political settlement is eventually achieved and these young people no longer have licence to commit anti-social acts? It is only to be expected that acts of violence and anti-social behaviour will continue because of the conditioning of previous years ...
The Irish State was in fact slow to rise to the challenge identified by Devane. In 1940 it did establish a Construction Corps to recruit young unemployed males and set them to work in schemes of public works. The scheme, however was modelled on the Civilian Conservation Corps of New Deal America, rather than on the fascist youth movements. In the event it had difficulty in attracting working-class youth. Devane bemoaned this: The boy is very fastidious and hedonistic, and unless the Corps is made really attractive to him, he will stand aloof and prefer the street corner and its freedom, the dance-hall and the cinema, even though this involves semi starvation and demoralisation (1942).
In the Irish Republic, large-scale industrialization involving multinational investment did not really get under way until the early 1960s. Economic and social change has been telescoped into an extremely short time span. For example in the seventeen years between 1961 and 1978, GDP expanded tenfold, industrial employment increased by some 24 per cent, while the numbers employed in agriculture dropped by 40 per cent. In 1964, onequarter of seventeen-year olds remained in full time education, a participation rate that grew to one-half in 1979.
Acts of Union: Youth Culture and Sectarianism in Northern Ireland by Desmond Bell