By Leo E. A. Howe
Age-old principles in regards to the deserving and unfit bad are nonetheless pervasive in our society. Stereotypes of the scrounger and the malingerer, and the frequent trust that a lot joblessness is voluntary, proceed to represent the ideological foundation of conservative social coverage on unemployment and poverty. during this examine of unemployment in Belfast, Dr Howe effectively refutes many of the commonly held myths in regards to the black economic system, the welfare gain method and the so-called tradition of dependency. this can be a significant ethnography of unemployment and the 1st community-based ebook on modern unemployment within the uk. it's an account of the social, mental and fabric situations of working-class, long term unemployed married males in either Catholic and Protestant groups in Belfast. Dr Howe exhibits how the event of unemployment is formed either through neighborhood elements and by means of elements which are extra often attribute of business societies. those comprise the bureaucratic management of welfare merits, the exploitation of possibilities within the black financial system and the clash among people with and people with out jobs.
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Additional info for Being Unemployed in Northern Ireland: An Ethnographic Study
Estimate that some 50 per cent of emigrants between 1937 and 1961 were Catholics, despite the fact that they constituted only one-third of the total population. After the Second World War it became clear that Belfast's industrial base was in irreversible decline as mass redundancies in both shipbuilding and linen production occurred. O'Dowd argues that, in response to this deteriorating situation, the Northern Ireland state, in order to maintain its Protestant support base intact, was directly implicated in policies of regional development that were destined to attract new growth industries to the largely Protestant areas on the outskirts of Belfast, while permitting the traditional industries of inner Belfast to decay, particularly in west Belfast: 'major industrial growth was to be concentrated in the environs of Belfast, where Catholics accounted for a highly dispersed 20 per cent of the population, thus avoiding Catholic west Belfast and the west of the province' (1980: 42).
On the various factors which serve not only to maintain the cultural and social division but also to counteract its negative charge' (1986a: 24; italics in original). They also point to the continuing rural bias of much anthropological research, and note that one of its main findings is the seemingly high degree of integration found in many small communities. Such integration is often explained by researchers as stemming from a diverse set of circumstances: the existence of some collective interests which bind people from both sides of the divide; a sense of regional identity and common humanity; shared views on norms of behaviour; common membership in some voluntary organizations; occasional 'horizontal' class solidarity as against 'vertical' ethnic separation; and so forth (Harris, 1972; Larsen, 1982; Donnan and McFarlane, 1986a).
The fact that over 100,000 people voted for Sinn Fein candidates in recent Parliamentary elections indicates a great sense of grievance on their part. This is why Jenkins is correct to argue that: the systematic non-availability of equality of opportunity to catholics should not be seen as in any sense an issue which is separable from the legitimacy of the state. Ethnic domination and the national question are different sides of the same coin: the Northern Irish state, with its roots in the Plantation and its birth in the 'temporary solution' of Partition .