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‘Plastic and Proud’?: Discourses of Authenticity Among the Second-Generation Irish in England

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journal contribution
posted on 2013-07-17, 10:13 authored by Marc Donnchadh Scully
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.

History

Citation

Psychology and Society, 2009, 2 (2), pp. 124-135

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF ARTS, HUMANITIES AND LAW/School of Historical Studies

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Psychology and Society

Publisher

University of Cambridge

issn

2041-5893

eissn

2041-5184

Copyright date

2009

Available date

2013-07-17

Publisher version

http://www.psychologyandsociety.org/previousissues/?id=13

Editors

Oldmeadow, J.

Language

en

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