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Title: Modest proposals: Irish children, consumer culture, advertising and literature, 1860-1921.
Author: Clark, Lauren
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis examines the role that Irish children fulfilled in an emergent Irish advertising and consumer culture which sought to inculcate them as consumers from 1860 to 1921 . Currently, little research exists in the field of Irish advertising and no scholarly material exists to account for its links to consumer culture and literature in the period following the Famine towards the declaration of Irish independence. A number of approaches have been adopted in this research including research from the area of social history. textual analysis of critically neglected Victorian Irish literature involving children and reading advertisements, archival material and other ephemera in terms of the discourses that they purport to offer. The relation that children had to the consumer culture of Victorian Ire land will be discussed by an examination of mid- to late nineteenth-century Irish fiction, French fiction , anthropological writings, children's school books, magazines and periodicals which featured advertisements. A variety of literature will be scrutinised from the 1860 to 1890 period in particular to provide contesting representations of the child amidst theoretical repositioning and social movements towards child welfare in Ireland. Ultimately my research will demonstrate three factors. Firstly, that Ire land's advertising and consumer culture developed autonomously, in tune with nationalism and Irish national economic development during this period. This constitutes a form of "Celtic Consumerism" also evident in Scotland following the ,-Gaelic Revival and thus, enabled the child to be positioned as the newest participant in a national consumer process. Secondly, thanks to high child literacy rates which outstripped those of mainland Britain, Ireland's children were appealed to as literate consumers in advertising copy and were informed of the perils or benefits of consumer culture in late Victorian Irish literature. Thirdly, I will contend that the role of the child in the marketplace was also a conceit of French fin de siecle fiction and advertising copy that had a considerable impact on childhood in Ireland during this period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available