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Stereotypes, Ideology and Foreign Correspondents

German Media Representations of Ireland, 1946–2010


Fergal Lenehan

This book examines German media representations of Ireland from 1946 to 2010, from the post-war period to the years of the so-called «Celtic Tiger» and Ireland’s subsequent economic downturn. It charts both the patterns and the inconsistencies in depictions of Ireland in the weekly publications Der Spiegel and Die Zeit, as well as in German cinema.

Cultural stereotypes may be employed in the furthering of a problematic cultural essentialism; however, they may also be used to «play» with readers’ or viewers’ expectations. They may be juxtaposed with newer cultural generalizations, or re-moulded to fit a transformed cultural reality. The representations of Ireland examined in this book are revealed as inherently ideological, consistently locating Ireland outside of an evolving European societal «normalcy». While this is often presented as something highly positive, the book argues that it implicitly places Germany at the centre of Europe and may be viewed as a type of excluding Europeanism.


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Acknowledgements ix Introduction: Transnational Cultural History and Irish-German Intercultural Studies 1 Chapter 1 The Semantics and Syntax of Journalistic Articles of “Other” Cultures: Stereotypes and Ideological Narrative Meaning 13 Chapter 2 Unravelling a “Canon” of Representations: Irish Stereotypes in German Cinema 35 Chapter 3 ‘Many things appear Oriental’: Ireland in Der Spiegel and Die Zeit, 1946–1968 55 Chapter 4 ‘Their hands still clasp prayer books and guns’: Ireland in Der Spiegel and Die Zeit, 1969–1993 105 Chapter 5 ‘Nowhere is Europe so American as in Ireland’: Ireland in Der Spiegel and Die Zeit, 1994–2010 187 viii Conclusion 275 Bibliography 283 Index 297

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