The word ‘myth’ is usually misused by social scientists who think of it as being equivalent to an untruth. However, more accurately, a myth is a basic organising story, often recounting the origins and development of a people; as such it offers meaning, a way of understanding the path their development took. In this sense, the Celtic Tiger is a myth, as it was a story told about the final arrival of the Irish people at their long elusive goal of development and plenty. All that went before was the pre-history of many failures until the conditions became right for the final breakthrough. One of the functions of myth is that it legitimises a particular hierarchical ordering of social, political and economic power; to the extent that it does this through investing the order of society with a sacred significance, it reinforces a power hierarchy and makes it much more difficult to critique and undermine. In these ways, the account of Ireland's success that we call the Celtic Tiger was a myth, and it proved a very successful one since it won general acquiescence throughout society, including from academics and opinion formers.
Kirby, P. (2011), "Chapter 1 ‘The Myth of the Celtic Tiger’: The Political Economy of Irish Development Since the 1990s", Leonard, L. and Botetzagias, I. (Ed.) Sustainable Politics and the Crisis of the Peripheries: Ireland and Greece (Advances in Ecopolitics, Vol. 8), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 3-23. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2041-806X(2011)0000008004Download as .RIS
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