By Desmond Bell
During the last twenty years, a sequence of adlescent generations have come of age in strife-torn Ulster. children strengthen a feeling of ethnic wisdom - as Ulster Protestant or Irish Catholic - in a state of affairs of political difficulty and sectarian disagreement. utilizing ethnographic equipment, Desmond Bell explores the subcultural global of younger Loyalists and examines the position of sweet sixteen cultural practices within the copy of ethnic id and within the reconstruction of culture in Irish society.
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Extra resources for Acts of Union: Youth Culture and Sectarianism in Northern Ireland (Youth questions)
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.
As Taylor points out: Youth in Irish Social Thought 43 reports on young people's involvement in paramilitary activities generally stressed the corruption of youth by older members, quite often developed accounts which linked paramilitants with conventional crime and gave much coverage to attempts by politicians and others to discourage young people's paramilitary involvement (1978). Within this narrative structure the naive innocence of the adolescent delinquent is contrasted to the devious criminality of the terrorist.
Indigenous social research has remained, like our economy, underdeveloped. On the other hand, both Church and state in Ireland have maintained a lively interest - both North and South - in the attitudes, values and peer-group behaviour of teenagers in Ireland. In the current situation of mass youth unemployment and ongoing civil disorder in the north of Ireland this has amounted to a sustained 'moral panic' about the vulnerability of youth to careers of deviancy and violence. Indeed, as we shall see, youth policy in Northern Ireland has over the last fifteen years been largely orchestrated around a belief that the ongoing political disorder and violence have led to an inexorable rise in juvenile deviancy.