Contrary to the claims of advertising, the Aran sweater is a wholly modern phenomenon; because it emerged in the early twentieth century, however, it became a symbol of authentic Irish identity, imbued with qualities that resist commercialization and industrial production and that even provide links to premodern rural culture that the Irish diaspora strips away. While postcolonial postmodernity may render authentic culture unfeasible, contemporary advertising intensifies the mystification and romanticization of the Aran sweater, even with the garment’s increasing machine production.

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