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Title: Where are the girls in the "new" Northern Ireland? : young women navigating the transition from conflict
Author: Marshall, Chelsea Beth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 6247
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2012
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Academics and practitioners involved in progressing transitional justice seek to adapt, distribute and transpose lessons learned from diverse political transitions to an increasing number of post-conflict societies. One distinct perspective reflects the deeply gendered nature of armed conflict which exacerbates the persistent exclusion of women and their experiences from transitional political decision-making. A further significant focus is the inclusion, or exclusion, of children's and young people's experiences in setting these priorities. This research examines these issues in relation to Northern Ireland, where the peace negotiations and early settlements of the 1990s have given way to new challenges of implementing the priorities of the 1998 Belfast/ Good Friday Agreement. Based on focus groups in 'Catholic'/Nationalist and 'Protestant'/Unionist areas of West and North Belfast, this thesis employs a critical feminist perspective to explore young women's experiences of navigating their lives during the political transition and early stages of implementing the Peace Process. Methodologically, the use of focus groups addressed concerns regarding power relations and decontextualisation by establishing an inclusive, supportive and respectful research setting. The focus group narratives provide full, discursive commentaries from young women (age 13-19) and from older young women who were teenagers during the ceasefires and signing of the Agreement. Young women's accounts of key moments of the transition, perceptions of inclusivity in new political arrangements, understanding of equality within and between ethno-religious communities and opinions regarding persistent segregation provide scope to evaluate developments towards 'peace' in the 'new' Northern Ireland. The significant yet normally silenced themes that emerged were managing exclusion, the significance of ethno-religious segregation, transgenerational understanding of the Conflict and sites of control and resistance for young women. By shifting the lens from the primarily adult male subject of transitional justice, the research contributes to our understanding of young women's experiences of transitional priorities globally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available