Women and the Irish Diaspora
By Breda Gray
Routledge – 2003 – 232 pages
Women and the Irish Diaspora looks at the changing nature of national and cultural belonging both among women who have left Ireland and those who remain. It identifies new ways of thinking about Irish modernity by looking specifically at women's lives and their experiences of migration and diaspora. Based on original research with Irish women both in Ireland and in England, this book explores how questions of mobility and stasis are recast along gender, class, racial and generational lines. Through analyses of representations of 'the strong Irish mother', migrant women, 'the global Irish family' and celebrity culture, Breda Gray further unravels some of the complex relationships between femininity and Irish modernity(ies).
Acknowledgements Introduction Migration and Irish women The categories 'women', 'the Irish diaspora' and 'the global' 'The Irish Atlantic' and 'the Irish Sea' Researching women and the Irish diaspora - journeys and encounters 1. 'Women', the Diaspora and Irish Modernity(ies) The Irish game of sexuality in 'controlled' and 'globalised' modernities Emigration and the Irish diaspora in the 1990s Migration, diaspora and the work of nation Mary Robinson and the Irish diaspora The limits of diasporic belonging Conclusion 2. 'Keeping Up Appearances' and the Contested Category 'Irish Women' Irish femininities in the 1990s Feminists, women in paid-work and 'women in the home' Icons of Irish femininity - negotiating contradictory legacies Conclusion 3. 'We Haven't Really Got a Set Country' - Global Mobilities and Irish Traveller Women Irish Traveller mobilities and national belonging Telling 'the difference' - the ideology of domesticity and Traveller women Contested histories and multicultural belonging(s) Inhabiting Irish identity as Traveller women in England Conclusion 4. 'The Bright and the Beautiful Take Off ' Gendered Negotiations of Staying and Going Resistance, choice, agency and staying-put Impermissible narratives of migration and belonging 'Suspect' belongings - migrant relationships to the 'homeland' Conclusion 5. 'Are We Here Or Are We There?' - Migrant Irish Identity in 1990s London Class, generation, 'homeland' and Irish identity in London Irish migrant femininities in London Women's transnational lives - hybrid or divided selves? 'Peg' communities and multicultural London Religion and London-Irish identity Conclusion 6. 'The Irish Are Not "Ethnic" - 'Whiteness', Femininities and Migration Whitely scripts Citizenship and migration in proximity Cultural exclusion and racial inclusion A transnational 'white' Irishness? Conclusion 7. Women, the Diaspora and the 'Global Irish Family' - Feminist Contentions The 'global Irish family' Blurring the migrant/non-migrant dichotomy Conclusion References Appendices Index
Breda Gray is Senior Lecturer, Women's Studies in the Department of Sociology at the University of Limerick.
Edited by Maureen McNeil, Lynne Pearce and Beverley Skeggs.