The Orange Order: Mitigating Parades, Public Relations, and Identity Change

Lee A. Smithey

in Unionists, Loyalists, and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195395877
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199914470 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Strategic Peacebuilding

The Orange Order: Mitigating Parades, Public Relations, and Identity Change

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Orange Order parades provide another opportunity to observe the slow reinterpretation of collective identities through the incremental modification of collective activities. The leadership of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has developed a range of public relations programs designed to build its cultural and political capital. Public engagement and persuasion have come to replace the order’s reliance on majoritarian politics and British privilege, reflecting the broader transformation of Northern Ireland’s conflict. The chapter uses the emerging Orange strategy and other initiatives developed by unionists and loyalists to adapt and expand Todd’s classification of types of change in collective identity categories. The author’s scheme captures strategies of identification and dissonance that may emerge as new cultural practices are developed in response to new social and political circumstances.

Keywords: conflict transformation; ethnic identity; identity change; Northern Ireland; Orange Order; parades; ritual

Chapter.  15790 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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