White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

The role of Remembrance of the First World War in the construction of the discourse of national identity in Northern Ireland.

Poulter, John (2017) The role of Remembrance of the First World War in the construction of the discourse of national identity in Northern Ireland. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

Poulter_J_Sociology and Social Policy_PhD_2017.pdf - Final eThesis - complete (pdf)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales.

Download (46Mb) | Preview


This work explores the way in which the texts and practices of Remembrance of the First World War in Northern Ireland can be seen as not only constructing discourses about the past but also discourses of identity, including national identity, in the present. It will examine how Remembrance is used to shape such identities and how an understanding of this can be, and is being, used to tackle the transformation of conflict in the region. In the process it will ask questions about the production of meaning and the role of power in such production. This will lead to an exploration of the range of actors engaged with Remembrance and how they use it to achieve their aims. It will explain the way in which such ‘memory work’ has been used in the construction of discourses of the nation on the island of Ireland and how this contributed to discourses of division amongst its population. It will conclude by attempting to summarise the functions of Remembrance and its role in the construction and shaping of the nation and national identity. The research focuses on the ‘Republican’ Falls Road, ‘Loyalist’ Shankill Road, the Cenotaph in Belfast, and the Island of Ireland Peace Park in Belgium. One of the main methods of research has been the production and analysis of photographs and many of these are used throughout this presentation to enable the reader to both better understand and also join in with the sense-making that such a project inevitably entails.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: The thesis includes more than 100 photographs of the texts and practices of Remembrance on the streets of Belfast and beyond including murals, memorials and poppy wreaths.
Keywords: Remembrance, memory, Northern Ireland, poppy, wreaths, murals, memorials, Great War, First World War, discourse, national identity, culture, intertextuality, Northern Ireland, Belfast, Shankill, Falls Road, paramilitaries, loyalist, republican, war memorial, UVF, UDA, PUP, Unionist, IRA, Britishness, Irishness, conflict, peace process, conflict management, peacebuilding, ex-combatants, Belfast Cenotaph, Island of Ireland Peace Park, Messines, Gallipoli, the Somme, November 11, July 1, discursive construction. collective memory, meaning, Enniskillen, the Troubles, politics of Remembrance, Easter Lily, 36th Ulster Division, 16th Irish Division, nationalism, war, veterans, soldiers, malleability of meaning, photographs, imagined community.
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.727227
Depositing User: John Poulter
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2017 10:41
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 09:56
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/18600

Actions (repository staff only: login required)