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‘Always up for the craic’: young Irish professional migrants narrating ambiguous positioning in contemporary Britain

Abstract

Abstract
This paper explores the experiences of recent Irish highly qualified migrants who, having left post-Celtic Tiger Ireland, arrive in post-‘Peace Agreement’ Britain. Our paper contributes to understanding the enduring salience of place and how expressions of identities are framed by specific place-based factors as well as by temporality. We explore how these migrants’ narratives, as ‘successful’ professionals, are framed by complex intersections of historical legacies and changing socio-economic and intra-EU migration patterns. We consider the extent to which residual anti-Irish stereotypes remain, or indeed have re-emerged since the economic recession, and how these negative perceptions may impact on expressions of Irishness. Focusing on accents and other markers of identity, we discuss how Irishness may be constructed through a spectrum of visibilities at different times and in different places. This spatial-temporal perspective may help to go beyond a simplistic, one dimensional ethnic lens by highlighting the contextualities of identitiesAbstract

This paper explores the experiences of recent Irish highly qualified migrants who, having left post-Celtic Tiger Ireland, arrive in post-‘Peace Agreement’ Britain. Our paper contributes to understanding the enduring salience of place and how expressions of identities are framed by specific place-based factors as well as by temporality. We explore how these migrants’ narratives, as ‘successful’ professionals, are framed by complex intersections of historical legacies and changing socio-economic and intra-EU migration patterns. We consider the extent to which residual anti-Irish stereotypes remain, or indeed have re-emerged since the economic recession, and how these negative perceptions may impact on expressions of Irishness. Focusing on accents and other markers of identity, we discuss how Irishness may be constructed through a spectrum of visibilities at different times and in different places. This spatial-temporal perspective may help to go beyond a simplistic, one dimensional ethnic lens by highlighting the contextualities of identities.

Source: Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture, first published online 4 Aug 2015.

Author: Louise Ryan and Edina Kurdi
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Online
Date of Publication: 04 August 2015
URL/Identifier: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13504630.2015.1058707#.Vcm2PvlVhBc

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