The ‘Craic’ Goes Global: Irish Pubs and the Global Imaginary

  • Chris HudsonEmail author


Irish pubs are associated with a strand of consumer capitalism that relies on the global commodification of culture, the export of ethnic stereotypes, and the creation of experiences that can be consumed along with more conventional forms of consumption. The production of an imagined Ireland in hybrid spaces which are anchored in the immediacy of the local, but also constituted through global connections, can be best understood through Manfred Steger’s concept of the global imaginary. This chapter focuses on the material and semiotic practices in Irish pubs across the world that produce spaces that are simultaneously both local and global, and which generate a global imaginary and global sense of belonging.


  1. Barthes, Roland. 2000. Mythologies. London: Vintage. (First published in GB by Jonathan Cape, 1972).Google Scholar
  2. Baudrillard, Jean. 1998. The Consumer Society: Myths and Structures. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  3. Brown, Stephen, and Anthony Patterson. 2000. Knick-knack Paddy-whack, Give a Pub a Theme. Journal of Marketing Management 16 (6): 647–662.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Clarke, Donald. 2013. Who Will Set Us Free of This Horrible Entity: The Bogus Irishness of Craic? The Irish Times, June 22. Accessed 26 Sept 2016.
  5. Culler, Jonathan. 1981. Semiotics of Tourism. American Journal of Semiotics 1 (1/2): 127–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Eco, Umberto. 1986. Travels in Hyperreality: Essays. Trans: William Weaver. San Diego/New York/London: Harcourt, Brace and Co.Google Scholar
  7. Elliott, Anthony, and John Urry. 2010. Mobile Lives. Oxon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Goodman, Conor. 2015. The Best Irish Pub in the World Outside Ireland Is … Healy Mac’s in Kuala Lumpur Is Named Irish Times ‘Best Irish Pub in the World’ (Outside Ireland). The Irish Times, April 27. Accessed 9 Sept 2017.
  9. Graham, Colin. 2001. Deconstructing Ireland. Identity, Theory, Culture. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Greenberg, Clement. 1989 [1961]. Avant-Garde and Kitsch. Art and Culture. 3–33. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  11. Haddad, Sam. 2014. The Most Far Flung Irish Pubs in the World. The Guardian. Accessed 15 Dec 2016.
  12. Hoey, Paddy and David Shaw. 2016. Here’s Why St Patrick’s Day and ‘the craic’ are Two of Ireland’s Greatest Myths. The Conversation, Australia. Accessed 20 Oct 2016.
  13. Irish Network Japan. 2016. The 24th Tokyo St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Accessed 20 Oct 2016.
  14. Kelley, Austin. 2006. Ireland’s “Crack” Habit. Explaining the Faux Irish Pub Revolution. Slate, March 16. Accessed 23 Sept 2016.
  15. Kulka, Tomáš. 1996. Kitsch and Art. University Park: The Pennsylvania University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Lifestyle Asia. 2011. Best Irish Pubs in Singapore. Accessed 23 Sept 2016.
  17. Mays, Michael. 2005. Irish Identity in an Age of Globalisation. Irish Studies Review 13 (1): 3–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McCarthy, Pete. 2003. McCarthy’s Bar: A Journey of Discovery in Ireland. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin.Google Scholar
  19. McClintock, Anne. 1995. Imperial Leather. Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Context. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. McGovern, Mark. 2003. “The Cracked Glass of the Servant”: The Irish Pub, Irish identity and the Tourist Eye. In Irish Tourism. Image, Culture and Identity, ed. Michael Cronin and Barbara O’Connor, 83–104. Clevedon: Channel View Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Monks, Aoife. 2005. “Everyone Can Be Irish for the Day”: Towards a Theory of Diasporic Performance. New England Theatre Journal 16: 117–129.Google Scholar
  22. Myers, Kevin. 2010. The Day of Indulgence Is DoneThe Time of Duty Has Arrived. Irish Independent, March 24. Accessed 23 Oct 2016.
  23. Nagle, John. 2005. ‘“Everybody is Irish on St. Paddy’s”: Ambivalence and Alterity at London’s St. Patrick’s Day 2002. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 12 (4): 563–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. O’Neill, Brendan. 2001. We’re All Irish now. Spiked, March 15. Accessed 23 Nov 2016.
  25. Pine, B. Joseph, and James H. Gilmore. 1999. The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre and Every Business a Stage. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  26. Pope, Conor. 2016. The Irish Pub Is a Status Symbol. With Unrest in the World, Everything Irish is Seen as Safe. The Irish Times. September 15. Accessed 23 Nov 2016.
  27. Postrel, Virginia. 2003. The Substance of Style. How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture and Consciousness. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  28. Ritzer, George. 2010. Enchanting a Disenchanted World. Continuity and Change in the Cathedrals of Consumption. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Seigworth, Gregory, and Melissa Gregg. 2010. An Inventory of Shimmers. In The Affect Theory Reader, ed. Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth, 1–25. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Skinner, Jonathan, and Dominic Bryan, eds. 2015. Consuming St. Patrick’s Day. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Google Scholar
  31. St. Patrick’s Day and Night. 2016. Moscow, Accessed 19 Oct 2016.
  32. Steger, Manfred B. 2004. Introduction: Rethinking Ideological Dimensions of Globalization. In Rethinking Globalism, ed. Manfred Steger, 1–12. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  33. ———. 2008. The Rise of the Global Imaginary. Political Ideologies from the French Revolution to the Global War on Terror. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Steger, Manfred B., and Paul James. 2013. Levels of Subjective Globalization: Ideologies, Imaginaries, Ontologies. Perspectives on Global Development and Technology 12: 17–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. The Irish Pub Company. 2016. Accessed 20 Oct 2016.
  36. The Irish Pub Concept. 2017. Accessed 20 Oct 2017.
  37. The Irish Village Dubai. 2016. Accessed 7 Nov 2016.
  38. Thrift, Nigel. 2010. Understanding the Material Practices of Glamour. In The Affect Theory Reader, ed. Melissa Gregg and Gregory Seigworth, 289–308. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Watson, James L., ed. 2006. Golden Arches East. McDonald’s in East Asia. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Welch, Robert. 1996. Oxford Companion to Irish Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Media and CommunicationRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations