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Title: Towards inclusion: young Protestants and the Irish language in Northern Ireland
Author: Malcolm, I.
ISNI:       0000 0000 7408 4746
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis is an evaluation of the views and perceptions towards the Irish language held by young Protestants in Northern Ireland. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Irish has been seen by rTlilny people as an important component of Nationalist and Republican identity, with the result that those from the Protestant and Unionist tradition have become alienated from the language. Historically, this was not always the case and many Protestants engaged with the language ina variety of ways. This 'forgotten heritage' is explored in the opening chapters of the thesis. An exposition of contemporary views draws on the research of scholars who have examined Protestant views on Irish; this is complemented by available attitudinal data, Northern Ireland Census figures and a number of instances which have brought the question of Protestants/Unionists and Irish into sharp focus. The major research component of this thesis is fieldwork conducted in a number of 'Protestant' grammar schools. A 'triangulated' approach used questionnaire and focus group methodology to provide both quantitative and qualitative data. The piloting process, which lays the foundation for successful fieldwork, is discussed in some depth. Having coded the relevant data, the SPSS package was used for presentation and statistical analysis to discover whether significant links between variables existed. Qualitative data from the focus groups is presented in summarised form according to theme. This combination of quantitative and qualitative information provides a fresh look at the views of Protestants towards Irish in Northern Ireland. Much has changed since the 1998 Belfast Agreement and this thesis, by dealing specifically with young people', shifts the focus onto a new constituency that may be more willing to re-engage with the language.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available