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Title: The development of Protestant working class politics and culture in Northern Ireland since 1960
Author: Parr, C. S. D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 3159
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis has two dominant focusses: class political division and the theatrical faculty of Northern Ireland's Protestant working class since 1960. It seeks to restore the Labour credentials of the constituency's recent past alongside its literary repercussions, both of which appear for decades to have diminished. It views political developments through the prism of six dramatists and writers to have either hailed from, or inspired, this profile. It takes into account their political activities and diverging viewpoints, many of which have been either forgotten or obfuscated, as part of a broader examination of the group. Drawing on interviews with the playwrights concerned, their unpublished scripts, as well as rarely-consulted archival material, the thesis contends that - contrary to a good deal of trite polemic and safe scholarly assessment - the Protestant/working class has historically and continually demonstrated a vigorous and resonant creative pulse as well as a tendency towards political fission. The latter is simultaneously sketched through a hard historical approach which returns repeatedly to the Labour movement. At times, such as in the early-1960s, these dynamics coalesced to a remarkable degree. Always cognisant of the accompanying ambiguities and complexities, the thesis above all taps into a sense that cultural and political performance are separate entities, and that the collapse of a certain Labour and Left wing ethos did not depress the emergence of dramatic writing from this disparate and capacious community. It argues that its consistency in producing playwrights of politically-charged and diverse persuasions counters its monolithic, reactionary reputation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available