Shifting Identities and Social Change in Contemporary Ireland: The Effect of Displacement and Migration

Stephanie Schwerter


In present-day Ireland – North and South – identity has become a
subject of much debate. The influx of migrants has led to a radical change in the island’s demography. This article sets out to explore how the notion of a changing Irish identity is represented in contemporary Irish writing on both sides of the border. In relation to the demographic evolution in the Republic, I shall engage with Chris Binchy’s novel Open-handed as well as Roddy Doyle’s collection of short stories The Deportees. The quest for a new identity in post-Troubles Northern Ireland will be explored in the light of Rosemary Jenkinson’s
collection of short stories. In Contemporary Problems Nos. 53&54, the author demonstrates how a new cosmopolitan outlook on the Northern Irish conflict may encourage cultural hybridization, making sectarian boundaries appear irrelevant. With the comparison of the three different pieces of writing, I shall illustrate how both parts of the island are confronted with the necessity of recreating and rewriting their conception of national identity against the background of a different socio-political history.


Ireland; Identity; Migration; Displacement.

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Esta obra está licenciada sob uma licença Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0 Internacional.