Anthony  D  Buckley

'Walls within walls: religion and rough behaviour in an Ulster community'

Sociology 18, 19-32.

Abstract A paradigmatic structure generates idealized images of (inter alia) social groups. These provide frames for the description and evaluation of particular objects and events. This article shows how, in an Ulster community, images of the siege of Derry, the household, the church, certain secret societies and, by implication the human body, are all articulations of the same paradigm. This process of framing is a cause of discontinuity in the description of experience. What is deemed good in relation to one ideal image, may be thought bad in relation to another. Because descriptions of the world and specifically of people and social groups often imply self evaluation, it follows that members of one social group will tend to prefer certain frames and avoid using others. Choice of frames will therefore reflect social status. Nevertheless, the different descriptions of the world given by members of this community are all articulations of the same shared paradigm.


THE idea of a `siege mentality' is much used in Northen Ireland to refer to the fact that many Ulster protestants feel threatened by the desire of republicans to incorporate them in the mainly Catholic Irish Republic. My contention in this paper is that the so-called siege mentality has an importance lying far beyond politics and the relationships of protestant and Catholic. It may in addition be regarded as a structure which gives definition to a wide range of social attitudes and actions. This definition is one which encompasses two important features of life in the province, religion and 'rough behaviour'.

This is not to be a discourse on sectarian relationships in Ulster, but it will be useful to begin by elucidating the most obvious significance of the siege in protestant thought. The concept of a siege is particularly appropriate not only because of the peculiar geographical position of the province which itself suggests the image of a siege, but because it has a direct reference to one of the best-known stories told in Ulster. Let me briefly outline this story.

In the course of the Williamite wars – in 1688-1690, the protestant people of Londonderry were besieged by the Catholic armies of James II. The siege was occasioned by the advance of James' troops to garrison the city. The treacherous governor of the city, Lundy, wavered with indecision, and his mind was made up for him when loyal 'apprentice boys' shut the gates. For many months, the loyal protestants held out enduring fearsome deprivations. They were short of food and had only the crudest weapons, but somehow the `Maiden City' remained intact. Governor Lundy later escaped from the city by stealth and, in consequence, his effigy is symbolically burned as a traitor every December. Eventually help for the city was at hand. The Mountjoy, a ship belonging to King William, burst the boom which had been set across the River Foyle and then, following the arrival of William's army, the city was relieved. With the breaking of the boom and the arrival of William's forces, the beleaguered protestants were freed from the forces of oppression and Catholicism.

These are the story's broad outlines' and common knowledge informs us that the tale of `Derry's Walls' provides a metaphor for the relationships between Catholic and protestant, republican and unionist in the province. It might with justice also be claimed that it reflects longstanding divergences and conflicts, based upon social class and ethnic allegiances, within the protestant community itself. People do disagree whether this story is accurate history and whether it should be superceded as a model for inter-denominational relationships. But this need not concern us here. The story stands as a cultural landmark, a point of orientation for all who inhabit the society.

This paper is concerned with the image of 'Derry's Walls' and with the relations of Catholic and protestant, but only indirectly. I wish rather to suggest that the story of the siege of Derry, and also certain of the conceptualizations of the relationships between protestant and Catholic should be regarded as articulation of a paradigm.


The Shared Paradigm

Using evidence collected in the predominantly protestant community of Listymore,2 in the north of Ulster, and following Ardener (1971, 1978), Barnes (1969), Buckley (1976, 1982a, 19826, 1983a), Willis (1972) and especially Kuhn (1962) it will be argued that there exists in that community a shared paradigm which generates descriptions of the social world. What I seek to show is that quite different aspects of social life are defined as though they had a similar structure. This structure provides a systematic definition of social relationships involving first definitions of typical interactions between individuals and second definitions of the types of individuals to be found in the interaction.

The population of Listymore is not homogeneous. There is a major division between what I call the 'core community' and a substantial number of people who are effectively outsiders. Even with the core community itself, there is considerable variety. In part Listymore is a rural area, and there are large tracts of countryside dominated by the mainly presbyterian farmers. There are also two villages. One of these, Long Stone, is predominantly working class. The other, Killycarnon, is a seaside resort and decidedly more 'snooty'. In addition, there is a multiplicity of smaller sometimes conflicting groupings and allegiances, some of which will be the concern of this paper.

The role of prototypical or paradigmatic objects in human thought has been widely explored in the last few decades. Thomas Kuhn (1962) seems to have been one of the first to propound this type of argument in modern times claiming that 'normal science' proceeds by discovering in the world structures similar to those in the paradigmatic work of a 'great scientist'. Berlin and Kay (1969) have subsequently indicated that in the semantic domain of colour terms in different languages, individuals select from the vast range of colours a small group of colours which they regard as 'good examples' of a particular colour, other examples of colour are regarded as bearing that name by virtue of their similarity to this `good example'. Amongst others, Lakoff and Johnston (1980) have illustrated the importance of metaphor in the structuring of knowledge. Here too, objects are described as though they had a similar structure to another prototypical object.

In British social anthropology, there has been much discussion of the role of the human body as a prototype or paradigm according to which people of different cultures understand the world in which they live. Douglas (1966) has claimed that menstrual beliefs and practices are generally symbolic of the social structure of the people who adhere to them. Willis (1967, 1972, 1974, 1978) has indicated that the body, and in particular the dichotomybetween head and loins, provides a model for the extra-corporeal relationships understood to exist by the Fipa. And I have made similar observations about the Yoruba (Buckley 1976, 1982b Ch. 8).

Ardener (1978) has further argued that there is in any culture a set of paradigmatic structures (`p' structures) which give rise to the plethora of structured representations and actions (syntagmatic or 's' structures) found in the culture. He speaks figuratively of a 'black box' through which the paradigm is transformed into its particular manifestations.

Much of this, and most explicitly the work of Buckley and Willis is derived from that of Levi-Strauss and in particular his early studies of myth and totemism. It is an approach in which the analyst takes a wide range of statements or a wide range of observations within a particular culture and reduces them to a simple model.

In a celebrated article (1956) Levi-Strauss himself inadvertently indicates the reductionist nature of this enterprise. He compares the structural study of myth to the activity of an observer who having no knowledge of playing cards watches a seance performed by a fortune teller. After watching many sessions, 'he may be able to reconstruct the nature of the deck of cards being used, that is, fifty-two or thirty-two cards according to the case, made up of four sets consisting of the same units (the individual cards) with only one varying feature the suit'. (Levi-Strauss 1956: 212-3). This comparison points, in fact, to a weakness in Levi-Strauss's perspective. For Levi-Strauss's method tends towards a reductionism which, in the same instant as it elucidates its data, tends also to trivialize it.

Just as there is much more to fortune telling than the mere structure of a pack of playing cards so there is more to story-telling than a mere structure of related binary pairs.

I do not wish however dismissively to repudiate Levi-Strauss's attitude to myth. But where we use the tools provided for us by Levi-Strauss to define the paradigms employed by a community in its description of factual and mythic reality, it is important to regard the underlying structure or paradigm which is thus elicited as merely the starting point in uncovering the mysteries of human culture. It is not an end in itself.

I shall start here by using the statements which informants provide about reality in order to discover the shared paradigm which seems to underline them. Having done this however, I wish to proceed, as it were, in the opposite direction away from the shared paradigm towards the articulated particular description. By so doing, I hope in a small way to clarify the role of metaphor in descriptive knowledge, but more generally, and following Ardener's usage, to explore the relationship between the paradigmatic and the syntagmatic structures uttered by my informants themselves.

It seems to me that much work has been done to elaborate the existence and indeed the structure of Kuhnian paradigms in recent years. If, however, this enterprise is to avoid becoming a merely reductionist one, ultimately dissatisfying to those who are concerned with the richness of human life, then what is needed is to peep into Ardener's 'black box' and at least to begin to discover how paradigms are articulated into syntagmatic descriptions of concrete reality.

In the examples which follow, individuals and social institutions are described by members of the community in forms of complementary pairs of opposed concepts. On the one hand people are described as 'cultured', 'quiet', or 'religious'. On the other they are described as 'rough' or 'wild'. This polarity corresponds to the analytical distinction I have made elsewhere (Buckley 19836) between 'compliant' and 'rebellious'. It seems plausible too, to regard the polarity of cultured and rough as metaphorically related to that of culture and nature.

Judgements based upon these polarities provide grounds for including or excluding individuals or types of individuals from social groups. In general, 'rough' behaviour is considered bad behaviour, and the people who exhibit it are thought fit to be excluded from the social group. 'Cultured', 'quiet' or 'religious' behaviour is deemed 'good' and those who behave thus are included in the group. There are, however, some exceptions to this general pattern. It is sometimes thought proper to draw into the bounds of a social group people who are considered to be 'rough'. Sometimes this is in order that the rough person may be reformed. But sometimes too, the rough individual may have a decisive role as the saviour of the social group.

The structure which I am here calling a paradigm may be discovered in any one of several important images to be found in descriptions of social life in Listymore. One of these images is undoubtedly the Siege of Derry itself. Others include the organizational structure of the secret societies which have so much importance in Ulster, as well as Solomon's Temple, the Church, the farm and the family itself. I intend to show that there is an inherent similarity between the different descriptions of these social institutions and objects – and I shall indeed regard them all as being articulations of the same paradigm in the sense used by Kuhn (1962).

Because all of these images are similar, it is scarcely surprising that, in many cases, they are used as metaphors for each other. Some, among them the image of Solomon's Temple, human body and the Siege of Derry, might be regarded as 'key' metaphors (Turner 1974). because of their widespread application.

I do not wish, however, to overestimate the role of metaphor. Beck (1978) has argued that metaphor has an important role in mediating between what she calls semantic and analogic modes of thought. But it is a fact that by no means all knowledge is articulated through the medium of metaphors. Statements such as 'I am six feet tall' or 'That yellow flower is beautiful' are not in any way metaphorical (unless of course one uses the term `metaphorical' metaphorically).

Nor are the so-called 'key-metaphors' always used metaphorically. It is possible, for example, to refer to the human body or to such objects as buildings, hearths and cooking pots without intending to symbolize anything other than the object referred to. When, for example, I go to the doctor with my broken arm, I do not intend him to cure my metaphor for the broken arm of society, a fact which students of folk-medicine often seem to forget (c.f. Buckley 19826: Ch. 8).

Nor are metaphors always used in a consistent manner. Lakoff and Johnson (1980) are able to provide examples where a particular metaphor seems absolutely to structure knowledge of a concept. For example they show how difficult it is in western cultures to articulate our knowledge of arguments without using statements borrowed from our knowledge of wars (I won the argument, defended my position, stood my ground, etc.). However, they also show how common it is for knowledge to be structured by means of highly mixed metaphors which are nevertheless, and at a higher level, consonant with each other. Metaphors are very 'shifty' (Beck 1978, Fernandez 1975).

For reasons such as these, I prefer to adhere to Kuhn's and Ardener's term 'paradigm'. I would regard the most mundane and literal statement to be the articulation of a paradigm even where there is no indication that it is the articulation of a metaphor.

Whether or not a paradigm is articulated by means of specific metaphors, there is a further mediating level which is necessary before a paradigm may be fully articulated into a syntagmatic description. In a quasi-Weberian sense, this may be characterized as an `idealized image', but following Bateson (1955) and Goffman (1974), it may also be called a `frame'. What I seek to show is that a single paradigmatic structure, sometimes articulated through the medium of metaphors, can generate a large number of idealized images which in turn provide frames of reference for the description of particular objects and events.

It will be seen too that each frame provides a set of criteria according to which a natural object or person may be judged good or bad, praiseworthy or guilty. While the idealized images (or frames) which are generated are consonant with each other to the extent that objects defined by one frame may stand in metaphorical relationship to objects defined by other frames, the process of articulating the paradigm by means of frames sets up major discontinuities in experience. Objects described in the context of one frame may also be described in the context of other frames. When this happens, it is often the case that the object's role in one frame is profoundly dissimilar to its role in another. And what is 'good' in one frame is frequently 'bad' in another.

I shall here present some descriptions by different individuals of different aspects of their social world. The descriptions reflect the informants' own differing social statuses and allegiances. Partly because of this, the different views expressed are often incompatible with each other.' each description has nevertheless an underlying structure in common with the others. Because of the multitude of conflicting allegiances and because of the multiplicity of frames to be found in Listymore I have found it convenient to concentrate upon descriptions of the social world in which religion has a place. The paradigmatic structure underlying the descriptions I call 'walls within walls'.


The Orange and The Black

Important to the life of Listymore are a number of different secret societies. The village of Long Stone has an Orange Lodge, a Royal Black Preceptory and an Apprentice Boys' Club. That of Killycarnon has its own Orange Lodge and it has also a Masonic Lodge. These different bodies are similar in their organization and ritual practices and indeed it is widely supposed that the symbolism of the Orangemen, the Blackmen and the Apprentice Boys are directly derived from Freemasonry. I do not propose to discuss any of these institutions as such, but rather to recount some comments of a member of two of them.

Ken Wilson is a member of the Long Stone Orange Lodge, and he is also a 'knight' of the `Royal Black Preceptory encamped at Long Stone'. Though he actually lives in Killycarnon, he attends church in the village of Long Stone and he takes an active part in the life of that village, running the flute band. He is a member of a large Long Stone network of kin – a 'connection' – and effectively he still occupies a leading place in the Long Stone community.

Like other members of the Orange Order, Ken insists that the Order is principally a `religious' institution. For example, he told me that 'a good Catholic would turn to a good Orangeman if ever he was in need', because he would 'know that he could trust an Orangeman'. Ken is, however, aware that critics of the Orange Order complain of the drinking and rowdiness associated with it. 'You do get a few that are a bit rougher', he said.

The Royal Black Preceptory, he told me, is a 'higher order' of the Orange Order. The two organizations are not separate. 'You have to go through the one in order to get to the other'. P23  In 'the Black' there are nine degrees which 'come out of the Bible'. The Blackmen differ from the Orangemen in that 'the roughest wouldn't get in'.

I tried to probe Ken's knowledge of the history of the Orange Order and I mentioned the eighteenth century `Oakboys' and 'Hearts of Steel' which are sometimes thought to be the predecessors of the Orange Order. He did not really know much about the Oakboys or Steelboys, but he ventured the opinion that they were 'like the things today', (I supposed that he meant modern paramilitary groups) and that the Orangemen were 'a step above' these earlier organizations.

I repeated what I took to be his idea saying that the Orangemen placed the Oakboys `on a higher level'. He agreed, but said that they were `put on to a religious level'. The Orangemen could 'keep these boys in order', and the Order itself was `to keep trouble down, not to cause trouble'.

It was undoubtedly a little unfair of me even to try to discuss the Oakboys and Steelmen with Ken, for there was no reason to suppose that he would know much about them. But his comments have a distinctive pattern which I discovered elsewhere. The essence of this pattern is the distinction of the religious and the rough.

According to the view which he expressed to me, those inside the Orange Order are religious by comparison with the generality of those outside it who are rough. And the function of the Orange Order in the past, and by implication in the present, is to 'keep these boys in order', and to 'keep trouble down' in the wider society.

Within the Orange Order, however, despite its inherently religious nature, there are those who 'do get a bit rougher'. These are, it seems, kept in order by an especially religious element, the Blackmen, who do not allow the roughest into their organization. Both the Orange Order and the Royal Black Preceptory make a distinction, at least in principle, between the categories of people whom they include and those whom they exclude. Broadly, those who are included are 'religious' and protestant. Those who are excluded are `rough' and Catholic.

This is however too simple. Within the Orange Order, there are three degrees – `Orange', `Purple' and 'Royal Arch Purple'. In the Black there are a further nine degrees. These degrees are organized hierarchically in a manner similar to the thirty-three degrees of Freemasonry. Each degree excludes those who have lesser degrees. And each degree, presumably, is more religious than the last. In short, each social unit defined by this system contains a 'religious' element which excludes, but is enveloped by a 'rough' exterior. Like Solomon's Temple, which is the central metaphor of Freemasonry, each successive layer is more sacred than the last until, at the centre, one reaches the Holy of Holies.

It should be emphasized that not all Ulstermen, not all Orangemen and not all inhabitants of Listymore share Ken Wilson's opinion. Many people disparage the Orange Order and there are also Orangemen who dispute the claims of the organizationally distinct Blackmen to have pre-eminence in the Orange Order. There are, for example, those who disparage the drinking which is visibly present at certain public Orange demonstrations, and those who regard the rites of secret societies as unbiblical and hence blasphemous. All I have illustrated here is a structure of concentric 'walls', each one of which excludes those deemed to be relatively rough and includes those deemed to be relatively religious. The one I have elaborated here is one which appeals to Ken Wilson. Other people with different allegiances build other versions of the same Temple.


The Saved

One of the several networks of people whose members tend to disapprove of secret societies and their religious rites are those who describe themselves as 'saved' or, more contentiously, as 'Christians'. Among these, there is a small group of people which meets for religious worship in a small tin-roofed hall in the countryside between the two villages. The group is not in any real sense a religious sect, for its members all belong to other denominations. There are Presbyterians, Anglicans and Baptists amongst them and one of its joint leaders is an Elim pentecostalist. The group is interdenominational, but this inter¬denominationality does not really extend to Catholics, for its theology is evangelical and fundamentalist. The mission hall came into existence in the world-wide evangelical revival which succeeded the Great War. It differs in its organization from almost all protestant churches in Ulster in that it does not have a committee of elders or deacons to help with its government. Nevertheless, if there is no division between members and elders in this little congregation, there is a sharp line between the non-members and the members of the mission. Once a month, the meetings of the mission hall are open to the public for evangelism. For the remainder, meetings are private, for members only.

Discussing the mission hall with one of its leaders, William Martin, it became clear that he saw it in a similar manner to the way that Ken Wilson saw the Orange Order. There were, he said, in most local church congregations a group of people who also attended the mission hall. He referred to them in various ways as people who had 'made a decision' who were `Christian' or who had 'let Jesus into their hearts'. This last expression I have come to regard as having crucial importance in an understanding of evangelical religion in Ulster and I shall return to it later.

I mentioned to William that I was interested in the great religious revival of 1859 which is widely regarded as the most important single event in modern Ulster's religious history. William told me that he thought that the 1859 revival was also important for the political development of the province. He thought that it could be held responsible for the fact that Northern Ireland has broken away from the Irish Republic. The revival, he said, 'kindled a spirit which is alive to this day'. People who feel that 'our kind of Christianity is the only sort', feel that we are 'a light burning in this island' which is 'in danger of being swamped by Catholicism'.

It is clear that these are ideas which may easily be expressed in a manner comparable to that which has already been examined. The Long Stone mission is, in its small way, the means whereby those who have 'let Jesus into their hearts' are able to separate themselves from those who have not. Thus they are better able to influence their churches. But in addition, William also regards the separation of Northern Ireland from the Irish Republic as beneficial to the religious life of the province.

William and the other members of the mission are far from decrying the work of the churches. Indeed, when I mentioned to him and more especially to other members of his group that I did not go to church, and did not send my children for religious instruction, this was greeted with great concern. Like the rough element in Ken Wilson's picture of the Orange Order, the ordinary members of the churches have their place. It is better to be in the church than out of it, but it is better still to be saved.

There is here, as it were, a structure of walls in which, as in the siege of Derry, religious people are protected from the influence of the wicked people outside. Or, to change the metaphor, this is another version of Solomon's Temple in which the Holy is protected by successive walls and veils. William Martin's version of this Temple is different from Ken Wilson's because William runs the mission and is not an Orangeman, and because Ken is a leading Orangeman and is not in the mission.


Perils of the World

Mrs. Williamson is also a leading member of the Long Stone mission, and I found her comments most useful in elaborating the distinction between the inside and the outside, the religious and the rough.

Like William Martin, she told me that the purpose of the mission was not to remove people from their own church. On the other hand, she said, what most people call ' "religion" is not enough'. 'Your "religion" alone does not save you', she said, 'You have to make a decision'. Too many people, she thought, were interested only with the things of the world, and with making money.

She made an oblique reference to Ulster's 'troubles' and complained of television. So much television, she said, is 'unsuitable for children'. Children are just 'reared with the gun and the bullet'. When I expressed sympathy for this point of view, she said 'children need a brave grounding in the home'. There is 'far too much temptation about', she thought, and she mentioned drink and tobacco. it was better if you never started to smoke. Drink was also dangerous because you could become alcoholic.

As she warmed to her subject she became emotional. 'How do people get along without faith? What is this world after all? You get money, a house, furniture, but you can't take it with you'. Indeed she laid so much stress upon the unimportance of money and material possessions that she feared I would misunderstand her. She did not mean, she stressed, that we should be lazy. You should work hard to have a house and food, but you should not set too much store by these things.

`Why should we not be afraid of death?' This life is only 'a drop in the bucket' and 'of little importance'. 'In this world nothing is perfect, but in heaven everything is perfect'. 'The Devil is everywhere'. 'God has done all he can (through the Cross, etc.). Now it is up to man to make his own decision'. 'Things are bad in the world but in the Bible it says things will get worse' (a reference to the tribulations at the Second Coming). 'When we go to heaven', she added, 'we are going home'.

Mrs. Williamson's views are somewhat extreme in that she is willing forthrightly to tell a comparative stranger that he should give up drink, tobacco and send his children to church and Sunday School. The extremeness of her views comes over too in her special use of the term 'religion' by which she means 'formal' religious observance which disguises a lack of genuine conviction. Making allowance for this peculiarity of evangelical usage, her view is that a 'rough' person is one who drinks, smokes, watches television, is lazy, violent, and over-concerned with the accumulation of money. A religious person (or in her case, a person who is a 'Christian') will on the contrary avoid these vices. Beyond this, it is of interest that she speaks metaphorically of heaven and the religious world as 'going home' and that roughness is associated with the public house.


The Structure of the Home

There are in fact a considerable number of people in Listymore who to some degree drink, smoke, watch television, and a minority even engage in sharp practice, petty crime or

violence. Most people are far from repudiating the world in the thorough-going manner advocated by Mrs. Williamson. What such people have done, however, is to acknowledge that roughness is not all bad, and indeed that it has a valued place in society.

The dichotomy between religion and roughness corresponds, in fact, to the dichotomy between the roles of the sexes, and indeed, to the dichotomy between parents and children. Broadly speaking, a man is 'rougher' than his wife and the children are rougher than the parents. It is the woman's role and the parents' role in these relationships to keep the men and the children in order, to stop them smoking, drinking and being rough. (Cf. Buckley 1982a, 1983a for a similar but different structure in a different Ulster community.)

The structure of the home may thus be expressed as before as a structure of concentric circles in which the polarity of inside and outside corresponds to that of religious and rough. A prime function of the home seems to be to protect its members from the evil influences without. In this model the following relationships show a similar structure:

InsidereligiousFemaleParentOldHomeOutsideRoughMaleChildYoungOutside world

Discussion about religion in Listymore usually turned into discussion about young people and children, but I did not often hear much reference to the text 'suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven'. On the contrary, children seem to be primarily regarded as potential tearaways who are in need of control. Religion is regarded as an important means of exercising social control over children.


The Farm and The Village

Closely related to the home is the farm, because, for many people in Listymore, the home is the farm. I spent a most informative evening with Jim Douglas, a young farmer, discussing the history of agriculture in the district. Jim owns what is, by Ulster standards, a large and prosperous farm which had belonged to his father and to his grandfather. He is a go-ahead businessman, who by no means wishes to forgo the benefits of the modern agricultural economy. When he discussed the history of farming in the area, however, he expressed concern that farming had 'lost something' through modern developments. In the old days, he said, it was 'more what farming was all about'.

As recently as fifteen years ago, he said, they made their own butter on the farm. They grew their own potatoes and their own corn (oats). They kept their own pigs. 'You were self-sufficient in yourself', he said. 'You grew what you needed and you sold the surplus'. In making this point Jim was most emphatic, and he was much less interested when I asked about other topics such as `morrowing' or work-sharing.

A little later in the evening, he returned obliquely to the topic. He told me of the various trades which had once been found in Listymore. There was the man who killed pigs (thus allowing people to cure their own bacon); there was a carpenter who made cartwheels; there were three blacksmiths; there was the man who caught and sold herrings; there was the co-op in Killycarnon. As he listed these occupations, it was clear that he was trying to make a point, but the conversation of others began to overwhelm him. So I jumped in 'You mean the area was self-contained?' p27

`That's the point I'm getting at', said Jim. 'There was nearly everything you'd need within the village in the one area'. 'You didn't need to look outside for what you want'. Finally he said, 'Just like the farm was self-contained, so was the village'.

In saying all this, Jim was once again most emphatic as though he was stating a major and significant truth about the past. And indeed it is a point made with somewhat less clarity elsewhere in the district. It is said, that in the past women might never go beyond the village except perhaps once a year to go to the nearby city to buy such goods as blankets.

In speaking of the village and its past, Jim thus told me of a poverty-stricken life in which, nevertheless, there was a self-contained farm, in a self-contained village, in a self-contained area. Perhaps within his farm, the individual should also be self-contained, and it is likely that, like William Martin, Jim relishes a self-contained Ulster.


Inclusion, Exclusion and Penetration

I have indicated that there is in the different accounts given above, a recurring pattern which I have regarded as paradigmatic. The pattern is one which I have called 'walls within walls', an expression which seems to be applicable to the above descriptions of the province, the community, the village, the farm, the home, the individual, the church, the mission and the different degrees of the lodge. Each of these units is insulated from the evil influences outside it, yet each seeks to radiate a controlling influence of religion and virtue beyond its bounds.

Looking for a single metaphor to express this widespread principle of organization, the siege of Derry has obvious attractions. Here, to use a well-known epithet, the 'Maiden City' is besieged by nasty rough men. Perhaps, ideally, she should remain inviolate, but since she is threatened with the rape of her virtue, she allows one man (aided by his army) to use his ship to break the boom across her river. Thus is she penetrated and thus is her salvation effected.

The different images, of which the besieged city is but one example, all define several sets of people. One set includes the householder, the farmer, the loyal Ulsterman, and the beleaguered Christian encased in his mission hall, or within the walls of Derry.

Confronting such a person are the hosts of evil. There are 'them boys', the young, the male and the rough; the public house; the television with its salacious and violent influence; there is the Republic of Ireland and the Catholic Church. All of these evil influences are seeking to gain an entrance; to overturn the established order; to bring destruction and perhaps death. In the last resort, they may condemn the soul to eternal fire.

There is another category of people to whom I have not drawn attention, but who should be mentioned for the sake of completeness. These are the ones who appear to be supporters (indeed, leaders) of the loyal cause, but who are in reality traitors, turncoats, Judases, Lundys. These are the ones who would sacrifice fundamental Christianity to `modernism'; who are willing to engage in ecumenical dialogue with Catholics; who see little wrong in bargaining with the enemy; who would indeed leave open the city gates to the attacking hoards.

And finally there are the Saviours, amongst them the Apprentice Boys, William III and Christ Himself.

The different accounts here were of course, given by people who regard themselves as inside the walls of their respective social institutions. But it should not be thought that their attitude to their various enemies is one of mere hostility. On the contrary, their accounts areconsciously made within a Christian tradition, and they exhibit an element of compassion or charity.

Consider, then, the plight of those who are outside the gate. If we are speaking of the siege of Derry, then it is clear enough that the besiegers are initially in a happier and healthier state than those within. Despite this apparent advantage, the ultimate outcome of the story is that they will be repulsed, scattered and killed by the might of William III. If we are speaking of personal salvation, then, whatever the immediate attractions of a life of drink, idleness and sin, the evil-doer will perish in hell, when, at the last, he meets his Maker.

Despite the sinfulness of the diverse enemies defined by it, this paradigmatic structure nevertheless allows for the inclusion of outsiders within the different folds. Thus not only in the churches, but also in the Orange and the Black lodges, there is a generalized invitation to come in. If one is willing to be Protestant and to profess loyalty to the Crown, then one can join the Orange Order. If one is willing to accept Christ as one's personal Saviour (and renounce the papacy), then one can become a 'Christian'.

And there is room for a rough man and his rough children within the household.

There are obvious differences between entering a lodge, becoming a 'Christian' and getting married, but nevertheless there is a remarkable area of similarity between the different processes of being included in such institutions. Specifically, a person enters such a fold, as would a penitent.

According to the pattern here established, two individuals or sets of individuals typically confront each other across a wall. The people outside the wall are deemed to be comparatively 'rough', and those within may decide whether that rough person should or should not be admitted. If someone is admitted, he is subjected to an appropriate (religious) discipline. All of the various social institutions discussed here are founded upon the decision of an insider to include or exclude comparatively rough outsiders. In such interactions of inclusion and exclusion, the insider is differentiated from the outsider in a systematic manner. viz:-



In general, the different corporate groups into•which people may be admitted, or from which they may be excluded are associated with femininity. This is true of the Mother Lodge, Mother Church and the Maiden City, but it seems to be true of corporate institutions in general.

By contrast, the rough outsiders who seek admission are usually male and young – in the local idiom 'them boys'. I have discussed elsewhere at some length the identification of femininity with moral authority in Ulster (Buckley 1982a, 19836). In Listymore, descriptions of social life consistently emphasize the destructiveness, harmfulness and even sinfulness of both youth and masculinity. The interactions which I call inclusion and exclusion are the response of Godliness, femininity, parenthood and authority to that presumed destructiveness.

To be admitted within the bounds of a social institution is not however a simple matter and there is more general need for a transforming salvation. The nature of this salvation is of considerable interest, for it provides insight into another aspect of the male role.

There are a number of male individuals in the above accounts whose task is neither to be excluded from the social group on the grounds of their wickedness, nor to be meekly admitted in subjection to a religious discipline. These figures appear, not as prodigal sons, but as Saviours. In the different Saviour figures there is often a significant ambiguity. All of them seem to demonstrate the characteristics associated with being both religious and (in some degree at least) rough. This is most obviously the case with the Apprentice Boys who, contrary to the wishes of a legally constituted authority, slammed shut the gate of the city and took up an aggressive (rough) posture against the enemy. They did this of course on behalf of religion and Protestantism.

William III is not quite such an aggressive figure, but nevertheless he is a warrior who destroys his opponent's army. Particularly interesting is the manner in which his victory is most commonly portrayed. It takes the form, on the banners of Orange Lodges for example, of a picture of the Mountjoy breaking the boom across the river.

But a Saviour is not merely, or even primarily, a destructive force, for his task is to strengthen and reconstruct the structure of which he has come to take charge. The process whereby a Saviour destructively enters a structure in order thereby to reconstruct and strengthen it may fruitfully be regarded as one of death and rebirth.

In the same way as the city was saved by heroic male action, so also may the individual. Here, the sinner allows 'Jesus into his heart'. The expression is of course figurative, but, just as the bursting of the boom was a traumatic event, so too is said to be the process of admitting Jesus into one's heart. Jesus, rather like William III, would hardly be described as `rough' but neither is He 'meek and mild'. In the evangelical circles which I have been considering, Jesus is not only loving, He is also wrathful. Not only does Jesus 'save' people from sin, he also casts those who reject Him into outer darkness. According to this theology too, salvation is effected by the activity of God's Grace in a process involving death and rebirth. The activity of a (usually male) preacher is to assist with this creative disintegration.

Less obvious is the imagery of the Orange, Black (and also Masonic) Lodges, but here too there is a strong emphasis upon the importance of death and rebirth. When a candidate is admitted or 'raised' to the degrees of these different institutions, he must undergo a rite de passage in which death and rebirth are a prime feature. Here it is the male officials, acting on behalf of the lodge, who undertake the ritual destruction of the individual.

Finally, and closer to practical everyday life, when a man is married and submits to the discipline of wife and domesticity, he is similarly transformed by means of a rite de passage. By so doing, however, he is by no means rendered merely subordinate and regulated (Buckley 1982a, 1983b), for in his roles as breadwinner and parent, he is nevertheless her executive arm.

Here, as in every case we have examined, an individual, usually a man or youth or sinner, by allowing his destructive urges to be subordinated to discipline, may cease to be merely destructive and may achieve a heightened stature. Standing no longer in need of control, his destructiveness is placed in the service of the institution. Thus is he transformed from a villain, a sinner, a rebel, into the loyal vigorous defender of his social group.

The story of 'Derry's Walls', in its local context, is both potent and compelling, comparable indeed to the myths of the Master Masons and to that of Christ Himself. I have argued here that it is the articulation of a paradigm. This paradigm defines a wide range of social roles by a simple pattern. As well as this, and as one might indeed expect, it touches upon issues of a more cosmic nature, including those of death, destruction and rebirth. It identifies the forces of destruction with those of youth and masculinity. But it also shows how these destructive forces may themselves be transformed to destroy the old and to recreate the new.


Concluding Remarks

Emerging from my analysis is the fact that the articulation of a paradigm into syntagmatic descriptions of reality creates a major discontinuity in experience. Many of the people of Listymore share a common paradigm which provides categories for the description of objects and criteria for judging these objects to be good or evil. The paradigm is articulated, however, by means of a number of idealized images which provide frames of reference for the descriptions. Among these images are the Orange and Black institutions, the family, the church, the province, the village community, and the walls of Derry. Permeating the imagery too is that 'key' metaphor, the human body. Because descriptions of specific people and objects exist only in relation to ideal images such as these, the diversity of such images or frames constitutes a series of potentially conflicting visions of reality.

The images which I have presented here are not in any sense monolithic 'world views'. It is impossible for a person to see all of the objects in the world entirely within any one of the above frames. If a person is a churchgoer, for example, he may also on other occasions be an Orangeman, a family man, an employee or a golfer. In any given role, the paradigm must generate different frames within which his experience may be described.

It is clear that the different descriptions given above are directly related to the social status of the speaker. The reasons for this may seem obvious, but are nevertheless worth stating.

I have argued elsewhere that descriptions of objects, and particularly descriptions of people are a form of social control (Buckley 19836). This is possible because a description of a person places him in a relationship to an idealized image. The framing of a description of a person thus locates him along a continuum from good to evil. Where a person is represented as evil in relation to a particular image, he will feel shame or guilt. He may also feel that where his actions are thus represented in a bad light, that this supposed evil will be reciprocated and he may suffer retaliation.

An individual's relationship to one idealized image will often be quite different from his relationship to another such image. Thus, in one of the above examples, the rites and activities of an Orangeman may be represented in one frame as upholding law, order and religion. When described in another frame, they are rather a source of blasphemy, drunkenness and rough behaviour.

A single paradigm shared by members of a given community can generate innumerable discontinuous and particular worlds in relation to which both people and natural objects can be represented. It need scarcely be wondered at that individuals are anxious to expound representations of the world in which they themselves, and sometimes people of similar status occupy a position which is free of shame and guilt. They may usually do so with ease by shifting their description of themselves and others from one frame to another.

This paper is a preliminary attempt to come to terms with the complexity of description. It began with the idea that descriptions of reality are articulations of a paradigm but it concludes that the frames through which the paradigm is articulated offer alternative ideological statements which reflect as much the social status of the speaker as the reality of the world.



I am grateful for the supportive and helpful criticisms of Linda Buckley, William Crawford, Fionnuala Prosser and Elizabeth Tonkin in the preparation of this text. I also acknowledge with gratitude the help of the people of `Listymore'.

1. See Simms (1969, 95 ff.) for a good historical account of this siege.

2. Proper names used in the text are, with some obvious exceptions, disguised.

3. I am grateful to Linda-May Ballard for pointing out the rapidity with which people change their opinion about a given event.



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