Few writers on the Irish in America have looked beyond the nineteenth-century ethnic enclaves of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, or Chicago, or have asked how the notion of an Irish-American ethnic identity in contemporary America can be reconciled with five, six, or seven generations of intermarriage and assimilation over the last century and a half. This study, based on interviews with 500 people of Irish ancestry in Albany, New York, aims to discover in what senses and in what degrees the present-day descendants of nineteenth-century Irish immigrants possess distinctive social practices and ways of seeing the world, and raises questions about the social conditions in which ideas of Irishness have been created and re-created.
`This is a refreshingly intriguing book with no trace of misty-eyed self-indulgence about the sea-divided Gael.' Irish Review 27 `Irish America asks whether people who identify themselves as Irish-Americans have distinctive ways of behaving or thinking, five, six or seven generations down from the period of heaviest immigration around the time of the Famine.' Ian Jackman, London Review of Books, September 7th 2000 `Byron believes that one effect of multiculturalism has been to force people to choose an ethnie - a politically and socially divisive practice.' Ian Jackman, London Review of Books, September 7th 2000 `What a tonic this excellent book is for serious and non-partisan students of Irish America, and for commentators and analysts of the Irish diaspora generally. At last a superbly researched and rigorously though through challenge to - I would say demolition of - the mythological orthodoxy generated by the dominance, in image-making, of the Irish ghettos of New York, Boston, Philadelphia.' Patrick O'Farrell, Irish Studies Review, Vol. 8, No.2 `What a marvelous Liberation for scholarship!' Patrick O'Farrell, Irish Studies Review, Vol. 8, No.2 `it is a highly professional, very well-informed, and toughly intelligent sociological exercise, based on wide and exhaustive interviews. These are set on a firm historiographical and geographic base, subjected to constant discussion between the author and his two research assistants, and analysed with patient, open-minded, care and balance.' Patrick O'Farrell, Irish Studies Review, Vol. 8, No.2 `If only sociology were always like this!' Patrick O'Farrell, Irish Studies Review, Vol. 8, No.2 `It is a pleasure to welcome this book into the front ranks of Irish diaspora studies.' Patrick O'Farrell, Irish Studies Review, Vol. 8, No.2
Series: Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 1st December 1999
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.62 x 13.87 x 1.88
Weight (kg): 0.38