Culture and the state Institutionalizing ‘the underclass’ in the new Ireland
Saris, A. Jamie and Bartley, Brendan and Kierans, Ciara and Walsh, Colm and McCormack, Philip (2002) Culture and the state Institutionalizing ‘the underclass’ in the new Ireland. City, 6 (2). pp. 167-191.
This paper analyses some of the activities of a community development group connected to a very poor neighbourhood in Dublin, Ireland within the context of anti-poverty discourses and types of targeted funding generated by the European Union. Community development groups and discourses are saturated with terms such as the ‘social market’, ‘inclusion’ and ‘community’ that are an interesting combination of progressive politics and concepts recognizably connected to social science disciplines like Anthropology and Human Geography. In this essay, the authors examine a ‘community’ response to the so-called ‘horse protest’ in Dublin, a response in large part funded by EU mechanisms geared to combating ‘social exclusion’. They also trace back some of the connections between the institutional actors in this community and EU policies and funding mechanisms. Finally, they examine the trajectory of the Republic of Ireland, especially its experience of a booming economy, that has influenced perceptions of, and reactions to, problems in this neighbourhood. This work represents an attempt to merge ethnographic data and policy analysis within one textual frame, and in particular it represents the authors’ attempt to understand how certain discursive sign-posts like ‘social exclusion’ are given content as concrete social-historical processes.
Repository Staff Only: item control page