Bringing together leading authorities on Irish women and migration, this book offers a significant reassessment of the place of women in the Irish diaspora. It demonstrates the important role played by women in the construction of Irish diasporic identities, comparing Irish women's experience in Britain, Canada , New Zealand and the United States. The book considers how the Catholic Church could be a focal point for women's Irish identity in Britain. It examines how members of the Ladies' Orange Benevolent Association (LOBA) maintained a sense of Irish Protestant identity, focused on their associational life in female Orange lodges. The book offers a lens on Irish society, and on countries where they settled, and considerable scope for comparative analysis of the impact of different cultures and societies on women's lives. It reviews key debates in Transnational Studies (TS) and Diaspora Studies (DS) before discussing the particular contribution of DS in framing 1990s study of migrant and non-migrant Irish women. Feminist and queer theory scholarship in Irish DS has begun to address the gender and sexual politics of diaspora by attending to the dynamics of boundary expansion, queering and dissolution. The book suggests that religion can be both a 'bright' and a 'blurry' boundary, while examining how religious identities intersect with ethnicity and gender. It also includes the significance of the categories of gender and generation, and their intersection with ethnicity in the context of the official London St Patrick's Day Festival.
Irish diaspora studies and women: theories, concepts and new perspectives
D. A. J. MacPherson and Mary J. Hickman
members of the LOBA maintained a sense of IrishProtestantidentity, focused
on their associational life in female Orange lodges. While much theoretical literature has begun to recognise the gendered nature of diaspora formation, it does
so largely within a framework dominated by considerations of family or personal
networks that emphasise women’s gendered role within the private sphere.
Instead, by examining associational culture we can begin to explore how women
could engage in the public life of the migrant community and thereby help to
, Orangewomen in
Canada promoted a strong diasporic IrishProtestantidentity through their
public, political activism. However, promoting an Irish Protestant ethnicity was
only one part of Orangewomen’s ‘diasporic imagination’ and, increasingly, we
find members of the LOBA articulating English or Scottish identities through
their participation in the Orange Order. In particular, the multiple and shifting
sets of identities embraced by the LOBA became more complex during the
1920s, when many Canadian Orangewomen began to celebrate their
Scottishness in more obvious and
by female members of the Orange Order in England, Scotland and Canada
during the twentieth century. What emerged from the reflections of Jean
and other interviewed Orangewomen was a sense of how IrishProtestantidentity interacted with, and was shaped by, Scottish, English and British
identities. Although all born in Scotland or England, several had maintained strong connections to Ireland, mostly to Ulster. Moreover, this
‘mutative’ sense of ethnic identity was part of a broader set of identities that comprised these Orangewomen’s sense of self.2
more explicitly Scottish or Canadian identity.
Orangewomen were thoroughly engaged with this process of ‘mutating’ ethnic identity and the various stages of migration, from Ireland to
Scotland, England and Canada and on to locations throughout the British
world, suggest that Orangewomen’s sense of diasporic homeland was
overlapping, combining their more proximate attachment ‘back home’
with an overarching connection to an IrishProtestantidentity.45 The
diasporic consciousness of the women examined in this book, then, was
anchored to a number of places and was
Ireland, Orangewomen in Canada
promoted a strong diasporic IrishProtestantidentity through their public
political activism. However, promoting an Irish Protestant ethnicity was
only one part of Orangewomen’s ‘diasporic imagination’ and, increasingly,
we find members of the LOBA articulating English or Scottish identities
through their participation in the Orange Order. In particular, the multiple and shifting sets of identities embraced by the LOBA became more
complex during the 1920s, when many Canadian Orangewomen began to
celebrate their Scottishness in more
women took part in the construction and modification of the Order’s
IrishProtestantidentity.142 As we have seen, this was an identity in which
diverse versions of Scottish identity were espoused by Orangewomen,
from the Lowland Burns, to the paraphernalia of Highlandism, from
dances to kilts and clans.143
The remarkable growth of the female Orange Order in Scotland coincided
with a period of intense emigration from Scotland.144 Between 1921 and
1938, 418,496 people left Scotland to go overseas, with most moving to
Canada, the United States
Ulster Protestant identity in the
twentieth century: nations and patriotism’, in M. Busteed, F. Neal and J.
Tonge (eds) IrishProtestantIdentities. Manchester: Manchester University
Hickman, M. and B. Walter (1997) Discrimination and the Irish Community
in Britain. London: Commission for Racial Equality.
Hickman, M.J., S. Morgan, B. Walter and J.M. Bradley (2005) ‘The limitations of whiteness and the boundaries of Englishness: second-generation
Irish identifications and positioning in
Exploring long-distance loyalist networks in the 1880s
Irish History 1800–2000. New York: Oxford
Jackson, D.M. (2009) Popular Opposition to Irish Home Rule in Edwardian
Britain. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
Jenkins, W. (2007) ‘Views from “the Hub of the Empire”: loyal Orange lodges
in early 20th century Toronto’, in D.A. Wilson (ed.) The Orange Order in
Canada. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 128–45.
Jenkins, W. (2008) ‘Ulster transplanted: Irish Protestants, everyday life and
constructions of identity in Late Victorian Toronto’, in M. Busteed, J.
Tonge and F. Neal (eds) IrishProtestantIdentities
politics in Ireland’, in M. Bric and J. Coakley (eds), From
Political Violence to Negotiated Settlement: The Winding Path to Peace in
Twentieth Century Ireland (Dublin: UCD, 2004), pp. 1–12.
20 W. H. Cox, ‘Who wants a united Ireland?’ Government and Opposition 20
(1985), pp. 29–47; B. Hayes and I. McAllister, ‘British and Irish public
opinion towards the Northern Ireland problem’, Irish Political Studies 16
(2001), pp. 61–82; B. Hayes and T. Fahey, ‘National identity in the Republic
of Ireland: does religion matter?’ Paper presented to the IrishProtestantIdentities