By Leo E. A. Howe

Age-old rules in regards to the deserving and unfit terrible are nonetheless pervasive in our society. Stereotypes of the scrounger and the malingerer, and the common trust that a lot joblessness is voluntary, proceed to represent the ideological foundation of conservative social coverage on unemployment and poverty. during this research of unemployment in Belfast, Dr Howe effectively refutes a number of the extensively held myths concerning the black economic climate, the welfare profit approach and the so-called tradition of dependency. it is a significant ethnography of unemployment and the 1st community-based booklet on modern unemployment within the uk. it's an account of the social, mental and fabric situations of working-class, long term unemployed married males in either Catholic and Protestant groups in Belfast. Dr Howe indicates how the event of unemployment is formed either by way of neighborhood components and by means of elements which are extra ordinarily attribute of business societies. those comprise the bureaucratic management of welfare advantages, the exploitation of possibilities within the black economic climate and the clash among people with and people with out jobs.

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Similarly, according to O'Dowd (1980: 30) the growth of the linen industry provided work for both Catholics and Protestants, many of whom entered the city between 1860 and 1880, whilst between 1880 and 1911 ship-building and engineering supplied large-scale employment for skilled Protestant labour. Paddy Devlin is even more forthright in his analysis of this period. He argues that Protestants owned and controlled most of the factories and mills; that there was segregation in factories along Catholic/Protestant lines, with the former getting the worst jobs; that the Orange Order put pressure on shipyard foremen not to employ Catholics; that Protestant skilled workers acted in like manner; that recruitment to skilled trades was by introduction and recommendation by Orange members; that Catholics could only obtain unskilled work; and that after 1920 the 'policy of the new Government was to provide jobs for its own Protestant people' (Devlin, 1981: 18-51).

Being myself a British Protestant, it may be thought paradoxical that I experienced more problems finding a viable status and identity in Eastlough than in Mallon Park. On closer inspection this is not so odd. It is, after all, the Protestant communities which consider themselves to be under siege, and their relationship to the British is one of unwavering loyalty to the crown and constitution, but often intense suspicion of its 38 Being unemployed in Northern Ireland successive representatives (Millar, 1978) who may at any time sell out the loyalist cause (Fisk, 1975; Nelson, 1984; Wiener, 1975); each new political initiative creates further dismay and consternation among many Protestants.

Chapter 2 The political economy of Northern Ireland and the anthropology of sectarianism The first chapter briefly outlined some of the major issues related to the analysis of long-term male unemployment, and the way in which this study is designed to address them. Before moving to the detailed presentation of the material in subsequent chapters, several further preliminary topics remain to be discussed. These deal with unemployment and the political economy of Northern Ireland; anthropology and its treatment of the sectarian divide; and the immediate context of the research.

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