Introduction
in Scottishness and Irishness in New Zealand since 1840
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book argues that discrimination, even when experienced, was not a precondition for the ethnic consciousness felt by and ascribed to the Irish and Scots in New Zealand. It explores the aspects that insiders and outsiders perceived as distinctive of Scottish and Irish (Catholic and Protestant) ethnicities in New Zealand. The book examines the issue of language and accent of the Irish and Scots. It also examines the material tokens of Irish and Scottish ethnicity, traversing a range of elements including music, festivals, food and drink, and dress. The book acknowledges the existence and continuity of visible signs of ethnic affiliation, what has been termed a 'constellation of symbols, rituals, and rhetoric'. It also explores the extent to which Irish identity was conceptualised in political terms while Scottish identity was cultural.

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