By Desmond Bell

During the last twenty years, a sequence of stripling generations have come of age in strife-torn Ulster. teens strengthen a feeling of ethnic expertise - as Ulster Protestant or Irish Catholic - in a state of affairs of political predicament and sectarian disagreement. utilizing ethnographic equipment, Desmond Bell explores the subcultural global of younger Loyalists and examines the position of stripling cultural practices within the replica of ethnic id 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

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It is only to be expected that acts of violence and anti-social behaviour will continue because of the conditioning of previous years ... This research sought to make the troubled streets of Belfast a clinical laboratory for the study of adolescent pathology. In turn it sustained a more general moral panic about Ulster's youth already prevalent in official circles. Within the Northern Ireland office at the time, government experts anticipated the likelihood of an 'imminent and dramatic increase in juvenile delinquency'.

This is the generation whose birth coincided with the onset of the 'Troubles'. The ghettoization of residential life since then has affected them perhaps more than any other age group. Their physical mobility is limited by the ever present dangers - real and imagined - of sectarian 'bother'. This sectarian territorialisation of residential space has, as we shall see in Chapters 4 and 5, severely restricted their opportunities for recreation and even employment. Moreover their adolescence is occuring in a period within capitalist society of general marginalization of young workers from paid employment and thus from the modes of consumption enjoyed by a previous generation of waged youth.

It indicated, as some claimed, 'the new youthfulness of the country'. 40 Acts of Union The sociologists who contributed to the Sense of Ireland Exhibition mounted in 1981 to announce to the world Ireland's arrival as a modern industrial society, were to comment: While changes in youth culture in Ireland have hardly brought down governments, they indicate how the country has become almost unnoticed from over the water - something very different to either the rural arcadia or traditional tribal battlefield of British fantasy (ICA, 1981).

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