Home stories: immigrant narratives of place and identity in contemporary Ireland

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This paper discusses immigrant identity and place in contemporary Ireland. It draws from a longitudinal research project that involved recent immigrants to Ireland. Participants in the project came from 18 different countries, and ranged in age from 22 to 68. Their reasons for moving to Ireland were varied, and included work, adventure, and personal relationships. Combining insights from sociolinguistics and human geography, the paper first considers the different ways in which immigrants to Ireland narrate place and identity, paying particular attention to content and linguistic strategies. It then provides a more detailed discussion of the relationship between immigrant identity and place through a focus on the concept of “home,” highlighting the linguistic strategies and means that immigrants used to discursively construct notions of home and identity in their interviews. The paper concludes by arguing that detailed discourse level analysis of people’s narratives of place offers new insights into the relationship between immigrant identity and place.

Source: Journal of Cultural Geography, first published online 3 Feb 2015

Author(s):Mary Gilmartin and Bettina Migge
Publisher:Taylor & Francis Online
Publication Date:03 Feb 2015
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