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Author Leane, Máire, 1967-

Title Female sexuality in Ireland 1920 to 1940 : construction and regulation / Máire Leane.

Imprint 1999.
 Special Collections on Request  DP1999 LEAN    LIB USE ONLY
Dissertation Thesis (Ph.D.) --NUI, 1999 at Department of Applied Social Studies, UCC.
Summary The central objective of this study is an examination of discourses of Irish female sexuality and of the apparatuses of control designed for its surveillance and regulation in the period nineteen-twenty to nineteen-forty. It is argued that during this period sexuality, and in particular female sexuality, became established as an icon of national identity. This thesis demonstrated that this identity was given symbolic embodiment in the discursive construction of an idealised, feminine subject, a subject who had purity and sexual morality as her defining characteristics. It is argued that female roles and in particular female sexuality, emerged as contested issues in post-colonial Ireland. This is not unusual given that women are frequently constructed in nationalist discourses as repositories of cultural heritage and symbols of national identity (Kandiyoti 1993). This thesis demonstrates that the Catholic Church played a central role in this process of establishing female sexuality as a national icon. Furthermore, it illustrates that through a process of identification and classification, women, whose behaviour contested the prescribed sexual norm, were categorized and labeled as 'wayward girls' 'unmarried mothers' or 'prostitutes'and mechanisms for their control were set in place. Finally, this thesis reveals that the development of these control apparatuses was mediated by class, with the sexuality of working class women being a primary target of surveillance, regulation and indeed reformation.
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Subject Women -- Ireland.
Collection Theses Ph.D.
Theses Applied Social Studies Department
Description 301 p. ; 30 cm.