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Revolutionary Masculinities in the IRA, 1916-1923

Mytton, Rebecca (2020) Revolutionary Masculinities in the IRA, 1916-1923. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis examines manly ideals and the experience of masculinity amongst members of the revolutionary Irish Republican Army from the Easter Rising of 1916 to the end of the Irish Civil War in 1923. Whilst the political convictions of these men and the detail of events they participated in have been researched widely, they have not been considered as gendered beings or as inhabitants of sexed bodies. The consistent ideal of martial manliness in the Irish Republican Army has been noted but insufficiently explored by historians, whilst the way that this ideal shaped individual men’s subjectivities, behaviours and experiences has been almost entirely overlooked. This thesis therefore constitutes the first attempt to examine the revolutionary experiences of the Volunteers as men. It firstly explores the consistent norms and ideals of martial manliness which were disseminated across Irish republican discourses, and then considers how those norms and ideals shaped the young revolutionaries’ conceptions, performances and depictions of their masculinity. Specifically, it examines the public presentation of manliness, the regulation and management of emotion, and the experience of brotherhood and male friendship. To do so, the thesis draws primarily on the ego documents – the letters, diaries, memoirs, and other retrospective accounts – of actively engaged Volunteers. These sources are read alongside contemporary public sources in order to ascertain how the pressure to live up to a particular model of military masculinity manifested in the actions, appearances and recollections of IRA soldiers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > History (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Ms Rebecca Mytton
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2020 13:43
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2020 11:37
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26579

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