Estrangement and ambivalence? Women’s accounts of negotiating an Irish Catholic heritage in Glasgow

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There has been much scholarly interest in researching the Irish diaspora in Scotland in recent years. This has been conducted largely by quantitative sociologists who seek to ascertain whether structural disadvantages still impacts on the life-chances of one of Scotland's largest ethnic groups. However, to date there has been little in the way of qualitative studies examining the actual experiences of people from an Irish Catholic heritage. This study has sought to address this methodological imbalance by conducting 25 life history interviews with women in Glasgow. Interviews were conducted using photo-elicitation techniques as it is considered an effective way at gaining insight into participant's 'life-worlds'. Currently in the final stages of writing up, the talk will share some of the findings related to the themes of belonging. In particular, I will demonstrate that an anti-Irish-Catholic prejudice can create: ambivalence, or estrangement to participant's sense of cultural identity. For example, some of those who took part shortened their names to avoid being identified from an Irish Catholic background. Other participants told stories of strategically selecting when they would reveal their faith in public spaces. Overall, it is hoped that this paper will add to a greater understanding of the lives of the Irish diaspora in Scotland.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes
EventBritish Sociological Association Annual Conference 2019 - Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Apr 201926 Apr 2019


ConferenceBritish Sociological Association Annual Conference 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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