Chapter

Narrative and the Irish imaginary: Contested terrains

Mícheál Ó hAodha

in ‘Insubordinate Irish’

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780719083044
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702437 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719083044.003.0007
Narrative and the Irish imaginary: Contested terrains

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This chapter investigates the ‘modes of existence’, which relates to both vernacular culture and the juxtaposition that is the ‘local struggle’. The contingency of power dictates that the luminal historical discourses were muted yet tenacious. It is evident that the oral traditions and discourses explored here complicate the notions of authenticity and ‘truth’, and question the efficacy of many dominant European cultural paradigms as inculcated in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The ‘Othering’ of Irish Travellers has been influenced and energised by an ambivalent and often dichotomous discourse internal to Ireland, as encompassed in folktales, narratives and texts that have assimilated both hegemonic and counter-hegemonic impulses. Travellers and their cultural values are judged according to the norms of the settled community, and are defined by certain stereotypes and attributes that continue to be ascribed to the Travelling community today.

Keywords: modes of existence; discourses; European cultural paradigms; Irish Travellers; Othering; narratives; Ireland

Chapter.  4833 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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