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Myth, memory and emotional adaption
Author: Barry Hazley

What role does memory play in migrants’ adaption to the emotional challenges of migration? How are migrant selfhoods remade in relation to changing cultural myths? This book, the first to apply Popular Memory Theory to the Irish diaspora, opens new lines of critical enquiry within scholarship on the Irish in modern Britain. Combining innovative use of migrant life histories with cultural representations of the post-war Irish experience, it interrogates the interaction between lived experience, personal memory and cultural myth to further understanding of the work of memory in the production of migrant subjectivities. Based on richly contextualised case studies addressing experiences of emigration, urban life, work, religion and the Troubles in England, chapters illuminate the complex and contingent relationship between politics, culture and migrant identities, developing a dynamic view of the lived experience of British–Irish relations after 1945. Where memory is often regarded as a mechanism of antagonism within this relationship, Life History shows how migrants’ ‘recompose’ memories of migration as part of ongoing efforts to adapt to the transition between cultures and places. As well as shedding new light on the collective fantasies of post-war migrants and the circumstances which formed them, Life History thus illustrates the cultural and personal dynamics of subjective change over time: migrants located themselves as the subjects of a diverse and historically evolving repertoire of narratives, signalling adaption, difference and integration as co-articulating features of the Irish experience in post-1945 England.

Otherness, belonging and the processes of migrant memory
Barry Hazley

Foreign and familiar: the politics of Irish migrant reception in post-war England Whatever the material hardships of the settlement process, Irish migrants arriving in England between 1945 and 1968 encountered a culture where ‘the Irish Question’ was no longer central to public debate, and where colour had largely replaced religion as the dominant criterion of national belonging. If the pathologisation of Irish propensities formed a key means of stabilising identities in Victorian Britain, the unsettling effects of rapid change in post-war society returned in

in Life history and the Irish migrant experience in post-war England
Myth, memory and masculinity in Irish men’s narratives of work in the British construction industry
Barry Hazley

cent respectively. 7 Viewed thus, the Irish in post-war England constituted a flow of commodified labour, a ‘replacement population’ whose function was to inhabit those segments of the division of labour hastily evacuated by Britons. Such was the view of Donal Foley, whose own migration from Kilkenny to London in 1944 would ultimately lead to a career in journalism, first on Fleet Street and later with the Irish Times : The Irish in Britain were always hewers of wood and drawers of water, and so they have remained to this day … This was much in evidence

in Life history and the Irish migrant experience in post-war England
Jonathan Moss

1 Contextualising women’s workplace activism in post-war England T he growth of women’s employment was one of the most significant social and economic changes in post-war England. But what were the implications of these changes for working-class women’s political identities and sense of self? This chapter provides an overview of how women’s growing presence in the workforce was understood by contemporaries. It demonstrates that female workers, trade unions, social scientists and WLM activists were increasingly drawing public attention to the poor conditions and

in Women, workplace protest and political identity in England, 1968-85
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Myth, memory and minority history
Barry Hazley

mechanisms of identification’. 9 Herein, attention to the shifting relationship between cultural myth, the psychology of personal memory and the embodied experience of everyday life demonstrates the inadequacy of a unitary narrative, whether of assimilation or exclusion, as a means of grasping the complexity of the post-1945 Irish migrant experience. Where memory is often regarded as a mechanism of antagonism within the longer history of British–Irish relations, the processes of migrant memory in post-war England illuminate a complex narrative ecology, reflecting the

in Life history and the Irish migrant experience in post-war England
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Myth, memory and emotional adaption: the Irish in post-war England and the ‘composure’ of migrant subjectivities
Barry Hazley

religious decline. So while the Irish in post-war England could be ‘immigrant’, ‘white’ and later ‘ethnic’, their experience of these designations was mediated through, and inseparable from, the broader economic, social and cultural transformations affecting the lived experience of everyday life in both sending and receiving societies. Thinking about the production of difference within the Irish migrant experience does not, therefore, only involve acknowledging how the boundaries of Irish ethnicity have been contested and redrawn over time; it involves too

in Life history and the Irish migrant experience in post-war England
Negotiating religious selfhoods in post-1945 England
Barry Hazley

‘Irish boy and girl’, raised in an atmosphere of intense piety at home, was habitually imagined to be ‘falling away from the Church’ in England, causing priests and Catholic social workers intense alarm. 2 For other contemporary observers, however, the picture was more complex. For those sociologists who registered the presence of the Irish immigrant, the Church appeared central to the Irish experience in post-war England, forming a vital institutional framework within which adjustment to urban life was negotiated. 3 Similarly, within much of the autobiographical

in Life history and the Irish migrant experience in post-war England
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liminality and the dis/composure of migrant femininities in the post- war English city
Barry Hazley

versions of femininity and the power this affords her, and from the prospect that sleeping with Angus, a Presbyterian, will enable her to perform a double transgression. It also has to do with Angus’s status, socially and economically, as a doctor: the phrase ‘a double room with a bath’ is suggestive of the ways in which Irish feminine ‘ambitions’ in post-war England could involve an interplay between issues of mobility and affluence simultaneously with those of romance and sexual experimentation. Post-war discourses of feminine ‘opportunity’ supplied a discursive

in Life history and the Irish migrant experience in post-war England
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The public meanings of emigration and the shaping of emigrant selves in post- war Ireland, 1945– 1969
Barry Hazley

emigrants’ leave-taking, the personal accounts examined in this chapter further substantiate Enda Delaney’s contention that there was no uniform Irish experience of emigration to post-war England. Moreover, however, while the chapter has endeavoured to point up the discrepancies between popular understandings and lived experiences, it has also shown how popular constructions were implicated in the constitution of emigrant subjectivities, without necessarily being descriptive of them. The post-war discourse of national crisis in Ireland did not reflect the emigrant

in Life history and the Irish migrant experience in post-war England
Sex, Catholicism and women in post-war England
Author: David Geiringer

On 25 July 1968, Pope Paul VI shook the world. His encyclical letter Humanae Vitae rejected widespread calls to permit use of the contraceptive pill and deemed artificial contraception ‘intrinsically evil’. The Catholic Church is now commonly identified as the antagonist in a story of sixties sexual revolution – a stubborn stone resisting the stream of sex-positive modernity. There has been little consideration of how Catholic women themselves experienced this period of cultural upheaval. This book is about the sexual and religious lives of Catholic women in post-war England. It uses original oral history material to uncover the way Catholic women negotiated spiritual and sexual demands at a moment when the two increasingly seemed at odds with one another. The book also examines the public pronouncements and secretive internal documents of the central Catholic Church, offering a ground-breaking new explanation of the Pope’s decision to prohibit the pill. The materials gathered here provide a fresh perspective on the idea that ‘sex killed God’, reframing dominant approaches to the histories of sex, religion and modernity. The memories of Catholic women help us understand why religious belief does not structure the lives of most English men and women today in the way it did at the close of the Second World War, why sex holds a place of such significance in our modern culture, and crucially, how these two developments related to one another. The book will be essential reading for not only scholars of sexuality, religion, gender and oral history, but anyone interested in post-war social change.