The fiction of Irvine Welsh is perhaps renowned for its exploration of ideological constructs pertaining to working class culture in Scotland, mainly his exploration of capitalism and consumption in the famous Trainspotting (1993). However, this article focuses on a later novel written by Welsh, Marabou Stork Nightmares (1995); it considers the ideological constructs of masculinity and colonialism and how they function, not only in the cultural imaginary of working class Scotland, specifically Edinburgh, but also in South Africa. The concepts of gender roles and how they relate to the ideologies of patriarchy and capitalism are explored, along with fundamental questions which arise due to the structure, discourse and the genre of the novel. Questions pertaining to class assumptions and divisions, due to Welsh’s use of regional dialect, are analysed: how this operates as an ideological tool and a signifier of the coloniser and the colonised, and how it functions as part of Welsh’s literary gendered imaginary.
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