Changing representations of masculinity in Irish cinema post 2008 economic recession
(2016) Changing representations of masculinity in Irish cinema post 2008 economic recession, no. 51.
Introduction: Over the last 100 years the Republic of Ireland has undergone a number of significant changes. It began with Ireland gaining its independence in the 1920s, through 'The Troubles' of the 1970s and 1980s, up and until the economic boom and bust of the 2000s. Over the decades Ireland has had a tumultuous relationship with issues surrounding gender and sexuality, from the Magdalene Laundries, the Catholic Churches abuse scandal, up to and continuing on from more positive aspects such as the marriage equality referendum in 2015. The primary aim this dissertation hopes to achieve is a detailed examination of how representation of Ireland's men has changed in the last number of years. The previous twenty years has seen Ireland undergo more change than ever as an independent country and the past eight years has seen the country trying to cope with recovering from the most devastating economic recession in a generation. In a survey published in 2015 Ireland was ranked as one the happiest places to live in Europe. However in spite of this apparently happy place to live Ireland has an exceptionally high suicide rate among men, one of the highest in Europe. What will be analysed in our texts is the ways in which they comment upon masculinity in Ireland following the 2008 economic crash and ultimately whether they view Ireland as a positive place for men. The texts chosen to be examined are "Calvary", "The Guard" and "What Richard Did". The reason these films were chosen from among the many films released in Ireland in the last eight years is that they offer the most in terms of masculine characters and explorations of men in Ireland and they ways in which they have been affected by the changes in their country over the last number of years. The attributes associated with masculinity have undergone a number of changes in recent times and ideas surrounding gender identity have never been more hotly debated. It is the aim of this research to determine how this conversation is taking place in modern Ireland. The dissertation will consist of a literature review composed of independent research which will detail what we mean when referring to masculinity, Irish masculinity, national and specifically Irish film. We will then move onto the textual analysis which will focus on the afore mentioned texts. The analysis will be built around identifying tropes and stereotypes as detailed in the literature review and applying these to the texts to see in what they conform and subvert the relevant scholarship. We will finish by answering the question; "In what way is masculinity represented in Irish cinema post 2008?"