Chapter

Popular Culture, 1600–1914

Sean Connolly and Andrew R. Holmes

in Ulster Since 1600

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199583119
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744822 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583119.003.0008
Popular Culture, 1600–1914

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Popular culture is a term that covers a wide range of human activity. From the early modern period onwards there was a progressive withdrawal of elite support for sports and pastimes, extending also to language, modes of speaking, believing and behaving, as practised and enjoyed by the mass of the people. In Ulster, as indeed in other border regions of Europe, this process was complicated by the diversity of its ethnic groups. These processes were by no means unilinear in time. Nor can the decline of the more boisterous customs associated with wakes, marriages, drinking, party processions, blood sports and other occasions of sociability, be explained simply in terms of social control exercised by the upper classes and the clergy. Economic and social change, including in particular the advent of industrialization and new work disciplines, served to induce widespread re-evaluations of lifestyles.

Keywords: popular culture; blood sports; wakes; marriage; drinking; party processions; social control; work discipline; folklore; ethnicity

Chapter.  7989 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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