Date of Award
Mitchell, Mary N.
The Irish in New Orleans have been a notoriously understudied group. With the third largest Irish population in the country by 1860, New Orleans is crucial when trying to understand the Irish immigrant experience. Viewing the Irish from the public perspective, this study explores the Daily Picayune, New Orleans' largest newspaper, from its inception in 1837 to 1857, to decipher the city's attitudes towards the Irish. Jokes in particular are explored, their function being multifaceted. First, jokes grouped Irish women into three types in an effort to maintain control of a large and unfamiliar group of white women who did not fit into the preexisting framework for southern ladies. Second, jokes emasculated Irish men by accusing them of having insufficient qualities to become gentlemen. By doing this, jokes were able to release social tensions, become non-physical confrontations, and create lasting stereotypes about Irish immigrants.
Barckett, Ashley, "Bumbling Biddies and Drunken Pats: Anti-Irish Humor in Antebellum New Orleans" (2008). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 865.