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Title: A society in transition : society, identity and nostalgia in rural Northern Ireland, 1939-1968
Author: O'Kane, Clare
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 0755
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis is a study of social and cultural change in rural Northern Ireland from the outbreak of the Second . World War in 1939 to the late 1960s, a period in which rural society was undergoing transition. This study charts the progress of that transition, addressing the ambiguity of a period in which rural people were faced with the struggle between old and new, the narrowing gap between country and city and the loss of rural identity that came with modernisation and standardisation. This thesis also, examines how rural life in the middle decades of the twentieth century is explored in imaginative literature about the countryside written at the time and in the recorded memory of rural. people casting a backward glance on their own past. This study, therefore, not only provides a social and cultural history of rural Northern Ireland during the 1940s and 1950s, but it also examines how this rural society in transition was both represented and remembered. The thesis begins with a chapter which examines the ways in which the Second World War acted as a catalyst for change in the Northern Ireland countryside. Chapter two and three explore how this process of change continued in the post-war period, looking at how ordinary rural people adapted to social reform and cultural evolution. Chapter four considers literary interpretations of the rural at time when traditional rural identities were under threat. Finally, this thesis argues that the process of accelerated change that took place in rural Northern Ireland from the 1940s to the 1960s has had a significant impact on how this period is remembered by rural people. Rural life underwent such a transformation during this time, and so few tangible links to the past remain, that those looking back often do so with nostalgia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available