The history of sexual morality in Ireland has been traditionally associated with repression. In the last two decades, however, repression seems to have given way to its exact opposite. But where did this repressionA originate? And how can we account for this sudden and sweeping transformation in sexual mores? Based on solid ethgraphic and historical analysis of sexual morality in rural Ireland, augmented by comparative data from Papua New Guinea, and being informed by from Freud's emblematic concept of repression, the author draws new conclusions that t only apply to the specific case of his Irish material but shed new light on the specific nature of an anthropological approach to the study of human societies.
Carles Salazar is lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Lleida. He gained his PhD degree at the University of Cambridge, and has carried out ethnographic fieldwork in Ireland and Catalonia. His main research has been focused on different aspects of Irish society and culture: rural economy, religious beliefs, family organization and history of sexual morality. He has also done research on the history of anthropology and on the cultural understanding of biomedicine and genetics among infertile couples in Barcelona. His latest publications include the book A Sentimental Economy (Berghahn Books, 1996).