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Title: The tyranny of transnational discourse: ‘authenticity’ and Irish diasporic identity in Ireland and England
Authors: Scully, Marc Donnchadh
First Published: 16-Feb-2012
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism
Citation: Nations and Nationalism, 2012, 18 (2), pp. 191-209
Abstract: Through the prism of current state discourses in Ireland on engagement with the Irish diaspora, this article examines the empirical merit of the related concepts of ‘diaspora’ and ‘transnationalism’. Drawing on recent research on how Irish identity is articulated and negotiated by Irish people in England, this study suggests a worked distinction between the concepts of ‘diaspora’ and ‘transnationalism’. Two separate discourses of authenticity are compared and contrasted: they rest on a conceptualisation of Irish identity as transnational and diasporic, respectively. I argue that knowl- edge of contemporary Ireland is constructed as sufficiently important that claims on diasporic Irishness are constrained by the discourse of authentic Irishness as transnational. I discuss how this affects the identity claims of second-generation Irish people, the relationship between conceptualisations of Irishness as diasporic within Ireland and ‘lived’ diasporic Irish identities, and implications for state discourses of diaspora engagement.
DOI Link: 10.1111/j.1469-8129.2011.00534.x
ISSN: 1354-5078
eISSN: 1469-8129
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © ASEN/Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2012. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website. The definitive version is available at
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Historical Studies

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