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The Language and Legitimation of Irish Moral Outrage

Arthur E. McCullough
The British Journal of Sociology
Vol. 40, No. 2 (Jun., 1989), pp. 227-243
DOI: 10.2307/590270
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/590270
Page Count: 17
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The Language and Legitimation of Irish Moral Outrage
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Abstract

Patterns of conquest and colonialism and the reactions to them in Ireland produced a client and intermediary system of domination and division of labour. The colonial laws were perverted by this system, and their effects were further reduced by religious and local closure and 'moral outrage'. A combination of division of labour and distinct cultural closure kept the eighteenth century quiet, rather than any 'moral economy'. Cultural closure rapidly changed into an adversary political language, around 1798, when confronting the power-based tradition of 'normative dissent'. Through the nineteenth century this language adapted pragmatically and instrumentally to dominant institutions and negatively to dominant culture. The process precluded class alignment, eroded state strategy, and forced the hand that might have been played through the tradition of 'normative dissent'.

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