A historical perspective on the social representation of Irish neutrality and its relationship with national identity

O'Dwyer, Emma, Lyons, Evanthia and Cohrs, J. Christopher (2011) A historical perspective on the social representation of Irish neutrality and its relationship with national identity. In: Annual Conference of the Social Psychology Section, British Psychological Society; 6-8 Sep 2011, Cambridge, U.K.. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This study had two main aims: (1) to examine the content of and change in the social representation of neutrality in the Republic of Ireland; (2) to explore its function for Irish national identity. The study utilised qualitative data sourced from a web archive of Irish newspapers. Media articles discussing the issue of neutrality from four key time periods in the history of Irish foreign policy were included in the analysis. The data were analysed using the software Alceste (Reinert, 1987), which distinguished different lexical classes based on word co-occurrence patterns. The analysis revealed that: (1) the Irish experience of neutrality during World War II was important during all time periods analysed, (2) a focus on the USA and Europe became integral to the representation in later time periods, (3) the link between Irish neutrality and peace-keeping was specific to the later time periods. Thus the change in the social representation of neutrality reflected the social, political and economic circumstances which Ireland found itself in at that time, as well as the most salient global actors in foreign policy. This study showed the changing and functional nature of the social representation of neutrality. Representations were revised in accordance with contextual factors, most significantly relative to a sali

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Event Title: Annual Conference of the Social Psychology Section, British Psychological Society
Organising Body: Social Psychology Section, British Psychological Society
Research Area: Psychology
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Psychology, Criminology and Sociology (from November 2012)
Depositing User: Emma O'Dwyer
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2015 17:17
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2015 17:17
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/30528

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