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Title: The trouble with women : an anthropological study of the construction of gender in nationalist working-class West Belfast
Author: Bergia, Elena
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 9600
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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The thesis analyses the construction of gender in nationalist working-class West Belfast drawing mainly on anthropology and feminist theory. On the basis of the findings of the ethnographic fieldwork the thesis discusses the intersections of gender with other facets of social identification, highlighting the frequent predominance, in the participants' self-image, of class, ethnicity, and political affiliation, over gender identification. It analyses the participants' narratives of the conflict linking their interpretation of notions of strength, independence, and empowerment with their experiential and socio-cultural background. It looks at the acquisition of the mothering role during the individual's psychological development and at the association between womanhood and motherhood in local discourses to explore the issue of women's agency within the constraints imposed on them by their social environment and by mainstream discursive constructs. Finally, the thesis explores societal responses to male and female ex-prisoners highlighting the 'seductive capital' acquired by male ex-prisoners by virtue of their involvement in the armed struggle and in prison protests. In so doing, the thesis highlights the gendered nature of heroism. In line with the key tenets of feminist anthropology, the thesis makes a case for the visible presence of the researcher in her writing, and for a constant attention to issues of positionality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available