This study considers the extent to which economic modernisation has transformed the rural community. In doing so it discusses whether the distinctive character of rural identity has been eroded by powerful and distant political and cultural forces. This is the first full-length ethnography of an Irish community for a number of years. Since the early 1980s, the anthropological analysis of community life in Ireland has been limited to brief articles whilst major community studies have been published in other European countries. The author has regularly worked in Ireland.
Country, village and pier
regional relations and local identities
difference and dispute
the generosity of community
fierce needle and fine craic
the politics of powerlessness
"What at first appears to be a book for the academic is in fact a fascinating insight into village life in Ireland as it adapts to economic modernisation."
Bookview Ireland Feb 2001
"Peace writes compellingly and with grace, not least in passing from Inveresk to broader implications... This is an exemplary community study."
Nigel Rapport, University of St Andrews Social Anthropology 9 (3) 2001
"this is optimistic about the strength of Irish rural culture in the face of the great globalising forces that surround us."
Books Ireland April 2001
"Adrian Peace steps behind the appearance if dull sameness in the rural community to highlight the ongoing struggle through which residents of County Clare maintain their community distinction and fine differences ... a commendable, lively and sensitive work that contributes significantly to understanding Irish society."
American Ethnologist 2003
"constitutes a most important contribution to the still rather thin corpus of ethnographies based on research in Irish communities. It must be regarded as required reading for all students of contemporary Irish society and in addition raises issues of relevance wherever local communities feel that their unique identities are threatened by the potentially homogenising influences of global forces."
The Australian Journal of Anthropology 2003