‘Irish Nostalgia as Commodity and Control’ – Miles Link

Miles Link on the use of ‘real Ireland’ nostalgia both as a commodity and as subtle element in the reproduction of class and power structures:

Any prolonged look at Irish popular culture will reveal its status as an elaborate performance. The ‘plastic Paddy’, a show put on for tourists and outsiders, is a well-worn idea, but there is also an interior identity, conceived of as more ‘genuine’, which is performed by the Irish to themselves. Or rather, it is performed to them, since I want to argue that the mass media of Irish television, radio, film and the web, most of what speaks about the Irish as ‘us’ and ‘we’, is not a celebration of some national culture at all. It actually constitutes a way of constructing an Irish identity that serves economic power—what the social theorist and philosopher Theodor Adorno would call ‘the culture industry’.

Continue reading