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Home > Coping and suicide amongst ‘the Lads’: expectations of masculinity in post-traditional Ireland.

Garcia, Felicia (2013) Coping and suicide amongst ‘the Lads’: expectations of masculinity in post-traditional Ireland. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

External website: http://eprints.maynoothuniversity.ie/4762/1/COPING...


Suicide in Ireland is now considered a predominantly male phenomenon whereby for every female suicide, four men kill themselves (National Office for Suicide Prevention 2009). Between 2008 and 2012, I conducted fieldwork among 40 young ‘lads’, aged 18-34, in and around Cork City. I relied on participant observation and interviews to retrieve information on the gendered over-representation in suicidal behaviours among of young, Irish working-class men. In addition to suicide, I focused extensively on ideas of ‘gender appropriate’ behaviours and related issues such as alcohol, - and drug abuse and other risky and self-destructive behaviours prominent within Irish ‘lad culture’. This also includes socialisation among peers, peer pressures and loyalties, chauvinistic jargon, homophobic bullying, humour and the ‘culture of mocking’ so as to grasp the cultural expectations of this particular form of masculinity. I do not attempt to answer the wide-scoping question: why do people kill themselves, but I do believe that an anthropological approach can help explain why some groups in a specific society/community are more prone to do so than others. I analyse the everyday workings of gender segregation and gender-appropriateness while posing the question whether increased gender equality could lessen young men’s vulnerability to self-destructive behaviours and suicide in Ireland.

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