SS121 Irish Society; Stasis and Change in the ambiguous Republic

Irish society is interesting. Really interesting. It underwent a complex process of dramatic and relatively rapid social change over the 20th Century, propelling it from being a predominantly rural, Catholic, insular, and socially homogeneous society to become one of the ‘most globalized’ countries in the world, all within just a few short decades. In some ways, it is much the same; in others, it is profoundly different.  In this module we explore, and explain, aspects of this process, and its effects on Irish society, mainly from a sociological perspective. Using the changing economy as a backdrop, we go on to explore transformations in key social institutions, such as religion, education, the family, the media, politics and power, and the changing role and position of women in Irish society. We will also address some of the problems and strains that have emerged, in part, because of these profound societal changes, such as social inequality and social class, immigration and race, and crime. The module is designed to be lively and engaging, and no previous knowledge of either sociology or Irish society is required. It will, however, provide a very useful backdrop to the experience of being in Ireland, and offer valuable and critical insights into ‘Irish identity’, and the ambiguities of social change for a small country in a global society.

Director, Dr. Jonathan G. Heaney, Ph.D

Jonathan G. Heaney recently completed a PhD in the School of Political Science & Sociology. He also holds a (double) first class honors degree (BA Hons) from NUI Galway, having achieved a 1:1 in both Sociology & Politics, and Economics in 2007. He finished top of his class in the final year of the former subject, earning him a departmental fellowship of €10,000 for the first year of his postgraduate studies.  In addition, he was twice awarded the title "University Scholar" as an undergraduate.  Jonathan's recent PhD research was funded by the Irish Research Council (formally IRCHSS) under the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme between 2008-2011.  He successfully defended his dissertation in February, 2014 and will formally graduate later this year.

Tuition and Fees

€2,100 (Euro)

€1,310 - Family Guesthouse (with Irish breakfast – single occupancy)
€1,160 - Family Guesthouse (with Irish breakfast – sharing) 
€875  - Student Residence (without breakfast -single occupancy)

Further Information

Programme Administrator
International Summer School Programme
NUI Galway

Tel: +353 91 495442
Fax: +353 91 525051



Applications open November 2016