Stories told about bad boys and little old ladies in the two Northern Irish villages of Long Stone and Killycannon typify the unacceptable extremes of rebelliousness and moral authority. These images, however, are ambiguous, for "old ladies" also exemplify a moral ideal of quiet respectability, while the bad behavior identified with "the boys" is sometimes deemed to be a necessary evil. These flexible but contrasting images are useful partly because they encapsulate a wide range of social statuses including gender, social class and ethnicity. They are also available for use as a "shifty" rhetoric of approbation and condemnation in a wide variety of social situations.
How to Cite
Buckley, A. D., (1987) “Bad Boys and Little Old Ladies”, Ethnologia Europaea 17(2), 157–163. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1377