Scottishness and Irishness in New Zealand since 1840

Author: Angela McCarthy

Recent studies of the Irish and the Scots in New Zealand have pointed to the prevalence of social networks for migrants. This 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. Rather, most aspects of their ethnic identities were positively constructed and articulated. It contends that overarching narratives of exile had little significance in the development of Irish and Scottish ethnic identities in New Zealand. The book looks at the ways in which Irish and Scottish migrants and their sense of Irishness and Scottishness been examined in studies of the diaspora. A sense of being Irish or Scottish is explored, along with identifications such as Highlander, Lowlander, Northern Irish, and Southern Irish, Britishness; New Zealand identities are also considered. The book highlights the range of sources from which we can obtain some insight into the use of and attitudes towards the Irish and Scottish languages and accents in New Zealand. A range of elements including music, festivals, food and drink, and dress is considered to examine the material tokens of Irish and Scottish ethnicity. Religious and political identities were also important aspects of Scottishness and Irishness. A range of national characteristics is examined among the migrants and their descendants in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Views of New Zealand and its indigenous Maori population are further ways in which Irish and Scottish migrants conveyed aspects of their identities.

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