Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Coakley L.
Irish Journal of Sociology
Racialised inequality, anti-racist strategies and the workings of the ‘dialogical self’: A case study in the shifting construction of migrant identity in Ireland
Scopus: 3 ()
Optional Fields
Dialogical self Ireland Narrative method Racialised othering
© Irish Journal of Sociology. The theory of the dialogical self understands that identity is constructed from a shifting pallet of ‘I’ voices, each created from the dialogic interaction that takes place between the individual subject ‘I’ and multiple ‘others’. These positions are changeable and identity space is constructed in each context, out of the interaction that takes place between a situationally specific manifestation of the self and an ‘other’, who is deemed to be important and worthy of note. This article engages with this conceptualisation in an effort to illustrate how some recent immigrants to Ireland internalise the experience of life in a new cultural contact zone, against a background penetrated by experiences of racialised othering. This takes many forms, but after these experiences are extracted from research participants’ narrative stories, individual immigrants are seen to harness a series of different positions in an effort to internalise the experience of this racialised discrimination and negotiate its place in their lives. Two particular strategies are adopted. Racialised discriminations are seen to be anchored in notions of human nature, broadly based. Immigrants use this conceptualisation to divorce the experience from their aspirations for their future life in Ireland. Equally, Immigrants are seen to switch ‘I’ positions laterally in order to deflect the experience of exclusion. In so doing, potentially new and intersectional migrant identity spaces are created.
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