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Intimate Mixing – Bridging the Gap? Catholic-Protestant Relationships in Northern Ireland Gillian Robinson, University o PowerPoint Presentation
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Intimate Mixing – Bridging the Gap? Catholic-Protestant Relationships in Northern Ireland Gillian Robinson, University of Ulster Katrina Lloyd, Queen’s University Belfast.

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Intimate Mixing – Bridging the Gap? Catholic-Protestant Relationships in Northern Ireland

Gillian Robinson, University of Ulster

Katrina Lloyd, Queen’s University Belfast

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‘Men and women of adult age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.’

Article 16 United Nations Convention on Human Rights

structure
What is a mixed relationship?

Research in Northern Ireland

Method used for this study

Extent of mixed relationships

Findings from research

Conclusions

Structure
defining mixed relationship
Clearly visible mixing eg black/white, disabled/able-bodied

Mixing that is not clearly visible eg educational/cultural/intellectual/emotional/power

Mixing made apparent by the external situation

Kosuta (1995:32) ‘The mixing depends more on the external situation than on inner dynamics. A typical example is a marriage between a Catholic and a Protestant…’

Defining mixed relationship
research
Robinson 1992

Morgan, Smyth, Robinson & Fraser 1996

Wigfall-Williams & Robinson 2001

Wigfall-Williams 2007 phD

O’Leary and colleagues (RoI focus)

Primarily qualitative research

Research
issues
Who enters mixed relationships?

Social Attitudes ‘get on better with your own’

Response of Churches

Where to live

Children

Education system

Success of mixed marriage

Issues
seminar aim
Aim of this seminar is to examine the characteristics and attitudes of people who have chosen to enter into mixed religion relationships in Northern Ireland.Seminar Aim
method
Northern Ireland Life and Times

Annual survey, began in 1998

Descendent of Northern Ireland Social Attitudes survey (1989-1996)

Monitor the attitudes and behaviour of people in Northern Ireland

Pooled dataset 8 years (1998-2005) using questions asked in each year

Method
extent of mixed relationships
1989 to 2005 those responding No to question ‘Is your husband/ wife/ partner the same religion as you?’ has varied from 6% to 12% (small number of respondents)

Pooled Dataset (1998-2005) gives us:

8,299 respondents in a relationship

802 (10% of total) in mixed relationship

Extent of mixed relationships
characteristics
Characteristics of respondents

Age

Marital status

Income

Educational qualifications

Social Class

Employment status

Characteristics
contact
Type of contact

Ever lived outside Northern Ireland for more than 6 months?

Ever attended integrated or mixed religion school in Northern Ireland?

Contact
attitudes 1
Hayes et al (2006) found that people in Northern Ireland who attended mixed religion schools:

Tended to reject traditional national identities and political allegiances

Was there a similar association in relation to people in mixed partnerships in Northern Ireland?

Attitudes (1)
attitudes 2
Support for political party

Which Northern Ireland party do you support?

National identity

Do you think of yourself as a unionist, a nationalist or neither?

Attitudes (2)
conclusions
Future of mixed marriage in NI

Donnan (1990:217) ‘mixed unions are more acceptable politically at some times rather than others, and that the number of such unions is more likely to increase in times of diminishing sectarian tension and conflict’

Increasing diversity in Northern Ireland population

Increasing secularisation

Devolution and possible political change

Conclusions