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Media consumption and Dublin working class cultural identity

McGuinness, Des (1999) Media consumption and Dublin working class cultural identity. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.

The central research question of this dissertation addresses the extent to which media consumption was, and continues to be, a factor in the formation of Dublin working class cultural identity. That relationship is examined in terms of the consumption patterns, uses and meanings associated with and derived from the dominant forms of popular audio-visual media in two periods, particularly cinema going and television. The time-frames for this analysis is the 1920s-1950s and the 1960s to the early 1990s, respectively Within the context of this analysis the interplay between the class, gender and national identity of the Dublin working class will also be investigated. I will also examine the wider economic, cultural, social and spatial factors that are significant to the formation of a Dublin working class identity. Part one undertakes a review of the relevant national and international research literature. It focuses on the key issues of working class culture, identity and media consumption with particular reference to the marginalisation and exclusion experienced by the Irish working class. As such the review lays the basis for the thesis’s theoretical perspective, which has at its core a problematising approach to the concept of ‘totality’ Rather than approach the key questions of the thesis and its subheadings with a restrictive notion of the ‘cultural’, an understanding of the concept of ‘totality’ is adopted in order to critically explore the cultural, economic and ideological dimensions of those questions in their interconnectedness as pursued in Raymond Williams’s understanding of ‘culture’ as ‘a whole way of life’. Part One also outlines the manner in which the project is to be undertaken. The selected methodology involves the use of original oral histories of cinema goers combined with the use of some secondary sources and television audience research. The latter brings together existing television audience data with primary material gathered through ethnographic interviewing and time use diaries. Part Two and Three of this thesis critically explores the dynamic relationship between the Dublin working class audience and the two most popular audio-visual mediums of the 20th century. The research is motivated by the belief that the ‘cultural’ domain has been largely neglected in favour of a dominant research focus on organisational and political aspects of the labour movement A key argument underlying this thesis is that the tendency to exclude the domestic sphere and to privilege particular fractions of the working class is both limiting and fails to embrace the richness of the Dublin working class way of life. The over-nding concern is that of media consumption and its impact on the formation of working class cultural identity, but a consistent and related theme is that of artistic/cultural production in both pre and post 1960s Dublin. By investigating the dialectical process that is media consumption, the on-going production and reproduction of key forms of Dublin working class cultural expression is investigated and celebrated within this thesis.
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Date of Award:1999
Supervisor(s):Preston, Paschal
Uncontrolled Keywords:Popular culture; Communication Social aspects; Social classes in mass media; Cultural identity
Subjects:Social Sciences > Communication
Social Sciences > Mass media
Humanities > Culture
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Communications
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:19049
Deposited On:28 Aug 2013 15:02 by Celine Campbell . Last Modified 08 Dec 2023 13:41

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