Reluctant diasporas of Northern Ireland: Migrant narratives of home, conflict, difference

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Abstract

This article discusses diaspora with specific regard to Northern Ireland as a contestedhomeland, now vaunted as a post-conflict zone. Taking a practice-led approach,I examine evidence of diasporic consciousness and transnational practices through life narrative interviews with migrants from Northern Ireland during two studies oncontemporary migration (200408). I conclude that developing a sense of belonging tothe Irish diaspora may be problematic for Catholics, Protestants and others originatingwithin the contested space of Northern Ireland. I suggest that studying local and familydiasporas in the Irish context, with a focus on individual agency, may ultimately be moreuseful in understanding migration and its impact on processes of identity formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-560
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

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Keywords

  • Northern Ireland
  • migration
  • life narratives
  • diaspora
  • home

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