Divided by National Belonging and Joint Territory: Northern Ireland’s National Identities
- Northern Ireland
This paper explores two contradicting sets of political identities, Protestant unionist and pro-British on the one side, and Catholic Irish nationalist and republican on the other, which shape the social and political sphere of Ireland. The aim is to describe the manifestations and transformations of these two identities in Northern Ireland. The concepts of contested identities, religion as an identity boundary and elements of nationalism provide the theoretical background. The conclusion indicates that Irish Catholic identity has gained in confidence, because it improved its political and social position in Northern Ireland. On the contrary, the Protestant unionist community perceives a loss in their status, which generates frustration and leads to disputes on cultural issues.