Irish National Identity and Irish Drama: A Social Psychological Analysis
Using positioning theory, this study explores national identity in Ireland through an analysis of 20th century Irish drama. First, Irish drama’s social significance is examined through examples of Irish theatre and society’s mutually-affective relationship. The analysis then identifies three different storylines Ireland uses to position itself in its quest for national identity formation: Ireland’s way forward is to return to its traditional roots; Ireland is static and unchanging; Ireland’s way forward is to modernize. By looking at the ways in which storylines, processes of national identity formation, and social identity theory interact with each play, this study gives a better understanding of how different positioning statements co-exist in the Irish consciousness. This methodology also illustrates how a region’s literature can be used to access its national identity and to make specific observations that are more conducive to traditional research methods.
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