Social connections
in Ireland and migration in the twenty-first century
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This chapter focuses on social connections: on the ways in which people create, maintain and extend their social connections through the experience of migration. It considers three different ways of thinking about social connections: language, family and community. The chapter focuses on the changing meaning of family for migrants living in Ireland and for migrants from Ireland living elsewhere, and shows the ways in which family changes across space and time. In migration studies, the term community often refers to migrants with a shared nationality, such as the Irish community in Australia or the Polish community in Ireland. Maggie O'Neill suggests that there are three basic meanings of the term 'community': relating first to place; second to a group of people living in a place; and third to 'togetherness'.

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