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Ashling Sheehan, Elaine Berkery and Maria Lichrou

Abstract

The changing role of women in the Irish society has attracted significant attention within the sociology literature; however, there has been little discussion within the field of marketing. This paper aimed to synthesise existing research and literature in the area to outline the key changes in the role of women in the Irish society since the 1920s, highlighting the impact of such changes on consumer behaviour patterns in Ireland. It specifically focused on key landmarks in the transformation of women in the Irish society, including the participation of women in the labour force, Ireland's economic growth since the mid-1990s and the current economic recession. These changes provide the backdrop for the emergence of female consumer patterns in Ireland, which were then discussed under the following themes: changing attitudes towards family life, representations of women in the media and the recession.