Globalisation, Guinness and the Production of Irishness
Chapter 7. Pure Genius: The Irish Consuming in Ireland
Understanding identity is a tricky business. People can seem rooted to certain forms of identity and yet, at the same time, flit between them like a bee visiting different plants. Identities are a form of cultural tool-kit that people use to construct an image and understanding of themselves… many people also have a strong sense of identity not just with the village and county in which they grew up, but with Ireland as a whole. Place identity may, then, be best understood as a form of interlocking, overlapping forms of bonding and belonging. It is quite clear that despite globalization and the world increasingly becoming one place, identity with local place is still very strong in Ireland.
(Inglis and Donnelly 2011: 140)
The pub… is an important ethnographic arena, wherein drinking practices and other aspects of Irish culture merge, and where the questions of identity and identification continually matter.
(Wilson 2005: 3)
Drinking is a social, economic, political and cultural act. For a great many people across the globe it involves as much time, effort, and thought as does prayer, church-going, electioneering, work and for some even sleep. Without alcohol and drinking globalisation would be an entirely different thing, as would many other processes of social differentiation and cultural identification.
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