Beyond the Orange and the Green. The Diversification of the Qualitative Social Research Landscape in Northern Ireland

  • Dirk Schubotz Queen’s University
Keywords: Northern Ireland, conflict, socio-religious segregation, community organisations, social context, sensitive subject areas

Abstract

The Northern Ireland conflict has been described as one of the most over-researched conflicts in the world. However, this is a relatively recent development. For many years, when the conflict was most intense, social scientists in North­ern Ireland were silent and not vocal. The sectarian violence that dominated the life in Northern Ireland as well as the fact that the country was a funda­mentally unjust society con­tributed to this silence. However, since the peace process began in the mid 1990s, a growing num­ber of qualitative studies have been published, utilising one-to-one inter­views and focus group discussions, in order to "make people's voices heard" and deal with the con­se­quences of the so-called "Troubles". This paper looks into the emerg­ence of a qualitative social research landscape in Northern Ireland beyond the conflict and explores issues so far neglected. It is argued that a number of factors have con­trib­uted to this, among them the availability of research funding to voluntary and community sector organ­isations that use their data to influence policy-making and equality legislation in a country which is still deeply divided along socio-religious lines. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0503293

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Author Biography

Dirk Schubotz, Queen’s University
Dirk SCHUBOTZ is currently research fellow with ARK (The Northern Ireland Political and Social Archive, http://www.ark.ac.uk/) and is based at Queen's University Belfast. He is currently responsible for Young Life and Times, a study of 16 year olds in Northern Ireland. His PhD (Dr phil.) research examined teachers' biographies in planned integrated schools in Northern Ireland. Prior to his current post Dirk conducted a three-year study of sexual attitudes and lifestyles of young people in Northern Ireland.
Published
2005-09-30
How to Cite
Schubotz, D. (2005). Beyond the Orange and the Green. The Diversification of the Qualitative Social Research Landscape in Northern Ireland. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(3). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-6.3.11
Section
National Overviews: Qualitative Methods in Various European Countries in Comparison to the U.S.