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New Vocabularies, Old Ideas

O’Boyle, Neil

New Vocabularies, Old Ideas

Culture, Irishness and the Advertising Industry

Series: Reimagining Ireland - Volume 22

Year of Publication: 2011

Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2011. XVI, 217 pp., 1 table
ISBN 978-3-03911-978-3 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.360 kg, 0.794 lbs

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Book synopsis

Advertisements are often viewed as indices of cultural change, just as the advertising industry is often imagined as innovative and transformative. Advancing from an alternative position, which borrows much from practice-based research, this book instead highlights the routinisation of practices and representations in advertising. Drawing extensively from his own study, the author uses Irishness to investigate the relationship between cultural symbolism in advertising and the cultural vocabularies of advertising practitioners. While globalisation and immigration to Ireland have putatively unhinged taken-for-granted understandings of Irish identity, the author argues that representations of Ireland and Irishness in the global context continue to draw from a stock of particularisms and that advertising practitioners continue to operate with largely essentialist understandings of culture and identity. As the first of its kind in Ireland, this book makes a case for renewed attention to advertising by academic scholars and promotes the benefits of interdisciplinary research.


Contents: The Irish Advertising industry and internationalisation – Advertising and Irish identity – Irishness and the nation brand – Cultural encoding in advertising – The cultural vocabularies of advertising producers in Ireland – Knowing what it means to be Irish – The Smithwick’s ‘Locals’ Campaign.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Neil O’Boyle lectures in the School of Communications at Dublin City University and is Director of the International Media, Interculturalism and Migration research cluster.


«Neil O’Boyle’s study of Irishness and the Irish advertising business significantly enriches our understanding of important industrial and cultural phenomena. His deft analysis treats a number of key and interrelated dynamics including national identity, representation and self-representation, consumerism and globalisation. Among the book’s many strengths is the way it opens up a lens on Celtic Tiger circumstances in a post-Celtic Tiger era.» (Diane Negra, Professor of Film Studies and Screen Culture, University College Dublin)


Reimagining Ireland. Vol. 22
Edited by Eamon Maher