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Adapting and adjusting the habitus: The experience of return migration for the second-generation Irish from England

October 24, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Location: CA110 (SAC Room), Cairnes Building, NUI Galway Galway Ireland

Speaker(s): Sara Hannafin

Affiliation: Population and Migration

Organised by: Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, NUI Galway

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The focus of the seminar will be on second-generation Irish return migrants from England. These are the children of those who left Ireland in the 1950s and who, as adults, have chosen to ‘return’. Drawing on the recollections of a small number of returnees, my research examines their experience of return migration in terms of their feelings of belonging (or not) in Ireland. Having grown up in Irish families in England and having visited regularly throughout their lives, I argue that the desire to return was an aspect of the habitus of the second-generation Irish in England. However the experience of return and the challenges which the individuals describe in terms of achieving a sense of belonging highlights the mechanisms by which habitus changes and evolves and the significance of emotion in this process.

All are welcome to attend.


This is one of a series of seminars in the Whitaker Ideas Forum. Sara will be representing the Population and Migration Cluster.