A Postnationalist Approach
David Cregan Divided subjectivities and modern Irish masculinities: ‘The makings of a man’ 159
David Cregan Divided subjectivities and modern Irish masculinities: ‘The makings of a man’ Ireland has never been a better place to live. While the thriving economy of the 1990s has slowed, Ireland has become a cosmopolitan nation with a European sophistication. In his book The Pope’s Children, David McWilliams describes what many have called the ‘New Ireland’: ‘We have to be there first, have the best, the brightest, the newest and the biggest. We must also be the ones who are the most fun, loudest, best craic and most off our head’ (McWilliams 2005: 3). The conservative scarcity of the past has been shaken off in favour of a cosmopolitan consumerist culture which seeks to compete, even in these economically challenging times, with the most economically efficient and fashionably chic nations of the world. And yet, the pace of change in Ireland has created some cultural uncer- tainty in its haste to distance itself from the more conservative inward- looking past. In their book Reinventing Ireland: Culture, Society and the Global Economy, editors Peadar Kirby, Luke Gibbons, and Michael Cronin identify a contradiction of terms in the development of contemporary Irish identity. They begin by quoting the National Economic and Social Council’s (NESC) strategy document published in 1999 which states that ‘Ireland reinvented itself during the 1990s’ (Kirby, et al. 2002: 1). The editors of this collection acknowledge that the idea of reinvention has caught on rapidly in Ireland, but has done so unselfconsciously and without much regard for history....
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