Irish American Drinking Habits in Literature and in Popular Culture: A Self-Defeating Cycle

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Representations of Irish/Irish-American Drinking Habits in Literature and in Popular Culture: A Self-Defeating Cycle Introduction Stereotypes are not hard to come by in popular American culture, and truly in popular cultures the world over. Human beings seem programmed to make quick and superficial judgments about anyone who is or who simply appears to be "different" or "other than" oneself, equating race, ethnicity, skin color, and/or country of origin with a set of specific attitudes, values, and behaviors that are often insultingly oversimplified and incorrect. The United States has had more than its share of struggles with accepting newcomers and dealing with minorities of all stripes, possibly due to the fact that the nation has a rich history of immense immigration that has led to higher levels of multi-ethnic and multicultural interactions and social pressures than have existed in many other nations. Regardless of the reasons behind the American propensity for stereotyping, the idea of Americans as bigots a stereotype in and of itself is unfortunately at least partially earned by the country's history and popular culture. The issues of slavery and civil rights for African-Americans is well-known racism in this relationship still regularly rears its head in the media; only slightly less well-known is the treatment of Native Americans by the white conquerors of the continent and the current hot-button topic of immigration from Latin America. These problems have

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