Community' and the Re-Making of 1970s Belfast

Jennifer Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the fraught, shifting terrain of'community' as lived out in 1970s Belfast. Applying Raymond Williams' concept of 'structures of feeling,' it explores 'community' consciousness that is rooted in affection, sensation, and knowledge. It then considers campaigns against redevelopment in west Belfast at this time, and the ways they were inspired and limited by the contemporary experience of 'community.' Based on fieldwork, oral histories, and archival resources, the discussion proposes that political action in divided societies is not reducible to sectarian geography. Rather, it advocates analysing the historically specific contours ofnuanced emotional allegiances and spatial associations that motivate and limit political action, and attention to how social content and place figure in conceptions of collectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-426
Number of pages28
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008


  • Violence
  • poverty
  • urban redevelopment
  • Northern Ireland


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