Discipline History Course Title Bachelor of Arts (Omnibus





Types and


School of Humanities



Discipline History

Bachelor of Arts (Omnibus), CONNECT BAs



Caitriona Clear

HI171: Social History of Ireland 1850-1922 Module


Lecture times



To be arranged

Brief outline of content

Two lectures a week for 12 weeks, and one tutorial fortnightly for each student running from weeks 4-12 inclusive.

Social History of Ireland 1850-1922

This course is a social history of the entire island of Ireland in the years between the end of the Famine and independence/partition.

Focus wlill be on the whole island

– the northeast and its industrial developments will be given their due.

It looks at Irish workers of all classes, on the land and off it, in towns and cities, institutions and services, paying particular attention to the new employees created by the social changes of the period. It also looks at population change, marriage and family life, and permanent and temporary emigration, education and schooling, religion including nuns and priests (from the point of view of work), public health, houses, food, accommodation, and institutions as they developed and changed over time.

The student will learn how to trace and discuss the connections between changes in working and family life in Ireland in this period between the Famine and independence, and will relate both to the rise in institutions of a custodial or caring nature over this period. They will learn how to evaluate changes in material and physical culture (houses, food, public health facilities) from the point of view of the people who wanted and resisted these changes. The student will learn how to question many of the orthodoxies of Irish social and economic history, and will also, in tutorials, learn how to read and criticise academic articles and books.

An attempt will be made to get students to debate certain questions which have given rise to much discussion among historians, e.g. whether ‘post-Famine’ marriage was as cold and loveless as many describe it to be, or whether gender or social class was the key determinant in the kind of education available to the Irish young during these years.

Mid-term book review worth 33.3% of overall course mark. Students are also expected at each tutorial to present an oral report on an article read, and to debate certain questions of interest in the course. End-of-term examination; extended essay for visiting students.

Deadline for mid-term normally Halloween.

Students are also expected to prepare debate speeches or presentations in tutorials, which are normally taken by the lecturer, and while they are not formally marked on these, their performance usually helps them to work throughout the semester and to do better in their mid-terms and finals.



Caitriona Clear, Social Change and Everyday Life in Ireland 1850-1922 (Manchester

University Press 2007); also extensive reading list.