Ethnonationalism and Attitudes Towards Gay and Lesbian Rights in Northern Ireland

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Abstract

Disputes over gay and lesbian rights occupy a central place on both national and international agendas in recent years. This is also the case in societies emerging from chronic ethnonational conflict where debates over gay and lesbian rights vs. ethnic-based rights predominate. While much scholarly work focuses on the influence of socio-demographic factors in determining attitudes toward gay and lesbian rights in postconflict societies, to date, the role of political influences, such as ethnonationalism, is noticeably under-researched. It is with this omission in mind that this paper focuses on the influence of ethnonationalism, or congruency in religious, national and communal identity, on attitudes towards gay and lesbian rights issues. Using nationally representative data from Northern Ireland, the results suggest that while ethnonationalism is a key predictor of attitudes among Protestants, it is socio-demographic factors, such as gender, age and educational attainment, that are the primary determinants of Catholic views.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-41
Number of pages21
JournalNations and Nationalism
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date3 Nov 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Gay Rights
  • Ethnonationalism
  • Northern Ireland
  • Homophobia
  • Post-conflict societies

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