EMN Ireland | www.emn.ie

Research Library

‘It's Different Now’: A Narrative Analysis of Recent Irish Migrants Making Sense of Migration and Comparing Themselves with Previous Waves of Migrants


The key aim of this paper is to consider how young professionals, who left Ireland since the economic recession, define their migration project – not just individually but also as a shared experience across their generation. Using narrative analysis and the concept of ‘speech acts’, I explore how these young people working in England talk about and make sense of recent Irish migration. In particular, the paper explores the extent to which the participants construct a sense of ‘cohorts’ to articulate their shared experiences and expectations as a ‘group’, ‘wave’ or ‘generation’ of recent migrants and, in so doing, contrast themselves with previous waves of migrants from Ireland. I highlight their emphasis on ‘choice’, ‘opportunities’ and ‘mobility’ in contrast to their image of the older Irish migrants as ‘forced’, disadvantaged and ‘stuck’. I suggest that this is not just an over-simplification of the past, but more importantly represents a device for making sense of the present. The paper also adopts a reflexive approach and situates myself as a researcher and an Irish migrant in the research process. In this way, I consider how my questions and comments may have influenced how narratives were constructed and shared as well as how I may have approached the analysis of the data through a specific socio-temporal mind set.

Source: Irish Journal of Sociology, Vol. 23 No.2 pp 114-132.

Irish Journal of Sociology, Vol. 23 No.2 pp 114-132.Irish Journal of Sociology, Vol. 23 No.2 pp 114-132.

Author: Louise Ryan
Publisher: SAGE Journals
Date of Publication: 02 November 2015
URL/Identifier: http://irj.sagepub.com/content/23/2/114.abstract

Download Adobe Acrobat Reader PDF

<< Back