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Title: Gendered group friendship formations : a case study of the Irish Countrywomen's Association
Author: Kinane, Lia
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis explores friendship as a located, temporal and cultural construction. It takes the Irish Countrywomen's Association as a case study and examines interview material with its members and texts produced by the group. The thesis argues that Coons, concepts, practices and expressions of friendship are intrinsically embedded in particular, gendered, socio-economic and historical contexts and shaped in relation to institutional discourse and practices. Women's group friendship formations are conceptualised as complex sites that (re)produce particular social hierarchies, gendered discourses and practices. Drawing from institutional ethnography, the thesis adopts an empirical strategy that starts with women's experience and uses a 'mode of enquiry' to examine how group friendship formation is imagined, organised and practiced. I identify the 'countrywoman' as a contested figure that is in tension with constructions of old and modem Ireland. Furthermore, the organisation of the friendship group is partially reconfigured in response to these tensions. My findings reveal how this group friendship formation both aligns with and contests particular constructions of, for example, 'Irish nationality', 'the heteronormative family' and 'the rural' whilst creating conditional friendship opportunities for women. Participation in the friendship group involves particular forms of practice, for example the ICA's practice of being non-sectarian and non-party political and the upholding of a specific understanding of Irish culture and the family. I also engage with the ways in which the friendship formation creates women's friendship opportunities through collaborative practices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available