The Welsh diaspora
in British and Irish diasporas
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Although a heterogeneous and multi-layered phenomenon encompassing diverse occupations and destinations, the Welsh diaspora has often been portrayed as a simplistic and even insignificant phenomenon. The chapter thus explores patterns and process of Welsh emigration and settlement from the seventeenth century but focuses on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when Welsh transnationality had its greatest force as both a demographic and an ideological phenomenon. The chapter examines the dynamics of cultural, linguistic and religious transplantation and change, and the adoption of dual or even multi-identities, be they, for example, Welsh and British or Welsh, British and American. It also probes the issues of victimhood, which surfaces in the collective justification for emigration of some but by no means all participants, and diasporic connection and consciousness, as obtained in the case of the Welsh print culture and its problematic assumptions regarding the homogeneity of the migrant group. These tensions are revealed by exploring how Welsh newspapers and magazines outside Wales (published in Welsh and English) forged and nurtured transnational communication at the same time as they defined and promoted a specific vision of what Welshness ought to embody in settler societies.

British and Irish diasporas

Societies, cultures and ideologies


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