Marc Scully is a Research Associate on the Impact of Diasporas on the Making of Britain research programme at the University of Leicester. His doctoral research examined discourses of authenticity and national identity among the Irish in England. He was the winner of the 2011 ASEN/Dominique Jacquin-Berdal essay prize.
Whose Day Is It Anyway? St. Patrick's Day as a Contested Performance of National and Diasporic Irishness
Version of Record online: 10 APR 2012
Journal compilation © 2011 Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism
Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism
Special Issue: Forging the Nation: Performance and Ritual in the (Re)production of Nation
Volume 12, Issue 1, pages 118–135, April 2012
How to Cite
Scully, M. (2012), Whose Day Is It Anyway? St. Patrick's Day as a Contested Performance of National and Diasporic Irishness. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 12: 118–135. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-9469.2011.01149.x
- Issue online: 10 APR 2012
- Version of Record online: 10 APR 2012
One of the more intriguing aspects of St. Patrick's Day celebrations as a nationalised ritual of a performed Irishness, both within and outside Ireland, is the extent to which it represents a dialogue between territorialised and diasporic expressions of Irish identity, and claims of belonging to Irishness. St. Patrick's Day celebrations in English cities are a particularly intriguing example of this contestation, due to the proximity of the two countries and the historical structural and cultural constraints on the public performance of Irish identity in England, as well as their more recent reinvention within celebratory multiculturalism. This article examines how debates around the authenticity of St. Patrick's Day parades in English cities are employed in the identity work of individual Irish people. In doing so, it provides insight on the tensions between Irishness as transnational, diasporic, and ethnic, as experienced in England.