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Teenagers, Everyday Life and Popular Culture in 1950s Ireland
O'Leary, Eleanor
The aim of this thesis is to provide a social and cultural history of young people, their lives and their interactions with popular culture in 1950s Ireland. Popular culture is contextualised within the wider social discourses of the decade including emigration, unemployment, globalisation and the rise of mass culture. Understanding the social structures of young people’s lives provides a deeper context to their access to and interactions with popular culture. In this study, popular culture refers both to a wide range of texts, such as comics, magazines and films and to social spaces, such as youth clubs, dance halls and cinemas. Internationally the 1950s were particularly associated with the emergence of the new teenager and the rise of teenage culture. This study highlights the opportunities for young people in Ireland to gain access to and participate in teenage culture and internationalised collective identities. Furthermore, this thesis examines the relationship between popular culture and the reframing of social and cultural expectations in the post-war period in Ireland. Patterns of behaviour in relation to work, education, social mobility and leisure are linked to altering expectations of standards of living. A number of social issues, including economic stagnancy and emigration, have dominated investigations of the post-war period in Ireland. This study focuses on popular culture in order to re-examine the 1950s from a new perspective and challenges accepted readings of the decade as closed, dark, dull and lost. This study reconnects a generation of young people and a lost decade to discourses of modern Ireland which have tended to begin with the economic expansion initiated in 1959 and have excluded the more subtle traces of social transition which occurred in the 1950s.
Keyword(s): English, Media & Theatre Studies; Teenagers; Everyday Life; Popular Culture; 1950; Ireland
Publication Date:
Type: Doctoral thesis
Peer-Reviewed: No
Institution: Maynooth University
Citation(s): O'Leary, Eleanor (2013) Teenagers, Everyday Life and Popular Culture in 1950s Ireland. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.
File Format(s): other
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First Indexed: 2014-09-20 05:00:44 Last Updated: 2019-01-12 06:16:12