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Title: ‘Plastic and Proud’?: Discourses of Authenticity Among the Second-Generation Irish in England
Authors: Scully, Marc Donnchadh
First Published: Nov-2009
Publisher: University of Cambridge
Citation: Psychology and Society, 2009, 2 (2), pp. 124-135
Abstract: This paper argues that understandings of authenticity are crucial in the construction of a diasporic identity and explores how members of the Irish diaspora in England construct discourses of what it means to be ‘authentically’ Irish. In particular, it examines how these discourses are arranged around the ‘Plastic Paddy’ trope, a label originally coined by young Irish migrants in London in the 1980s to describe the second‐generation London‐Irish they encountered. The attribution of ‘plastic‐ness’ in interview data as well as rhetorical defences against being labelled ‘plastic’ reflect ongoing issues of contestation over meaning and ownership of diasporic Irishness. From a social psychological perspective, this provides an example of the subtle ways in which language and labels may be used for exclusionary purposes, as well as the agency displayed by those who are positioned as ‘inauthentic’ by these discourses in constructing their own identities in dialogue with them.
ISSN: 2041-5893
eISSN: 2041-5184
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © The author, 2009. Archived with permission of the publisher.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Historical Studies

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