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"You're not a man at all!": Masculinity, Responsibility and Staying on the Land in Contemporary Ireland
Ni Laoire, Caitriona
Rural Ireland, and in particular the agricultural sector, is undergoing significant restructuring, within the context of a rapidly urbanising society that has been radically transformed economically and socially in the past ten to twenty years. The decade since the mid-1990s in Ireland has witnessed an economic transformation, the reversal of emigration and unemployment, rapid urbanisation and suburbanisation, and the continued concentration of population in the urbanised East (Central Statistics Office, 2003). The importance of agriculture as an employer has declined and the rural economy has become more diversified (Frawley and O'Meara, 2004). Young farmers are at the centre of these rural restructuring processes, making decisions to become farmers or not in the context of competing pressures. The economic and social landscape of farming is undergoing transformation, in which the viability of farming as an occupation and as a lifestyle in modem Ireland is being reduced. This means that some of the central pillars upon which Irish farm masculinities have been built are under threat, which has implications for the construction of masculine identities. However, at the same time, family farming carries with it certain responsibilities and retains a very strong socio-cultural meaning and importance, bound up closely with masculine identities. These competing pressures are in tension with one another and are lived out through the lives of farmers and their families. They are particularly apparent in the lives of young farmers and farm successors, who are the individuals who are facing or have recently faced, decisions regarding farm succession, inheritance or transfer of holdings, and their own futures.
Keyword(s): Geography; Masculinity; Responsibility; Staying on the Land; Contemporary Ireland; Anniversary Essays; Geography; Ireland
Publication Date:
Type: Book chapter
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Contributor(s): Fraser, Alistair
Institution: Maynooth University
Citation(s): Ni Laoire, Caitriona (2012) "You're not a man at all!": Masculinity, Responsibility and Staying on the Land in Contemporary Ireland. In: Anniversary Essays: Forty Years of Geography in Maynooth. National University of Ireland Maynooth, pp. 333-355. ISBN 9780992746605
Publisher(s): National University of Ireland Maynooth
File Format(s): other
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First Indexed: 2014-12-06 05:17:23 Last Updated: 2017-04-25 15:03:25