All the world's a stage: how Irish immigrants negotiated life in England in the 1950s/60s using Goffman's theory of impression management.

MAYE-BANBURY, Angela (2020). All the world's a stage: how Irish immigrants negotiated life in England in the 1950s/60s using Goffman's theory of impression management. Irish Journal of Sociology.

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Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0791...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1177/0791603520939806
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    Abstract

    This paper uses oral history to consider the relative merits of symbolic interactionism in revealing new insights regarding the Irish immigration experience in England during the 1950s and 1960s. Using a variety of rubrics attributed to Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman, I critically examine the nature of identity work performed by Irish men and women when in their new host country. The paper highlights the interface between citizenship and sociocultural identity epitomised by both the use props (corporeal modifications) and the power of sign vehicles, notably Irish accents in shaping the nature of social interactions. The extent to which Goffman neglects sensory driven constructs of identity is highlighted. The way in Irish immigrants negotiated two simultaneous worlds front and back stage in response to the anticipated reaction of the given audience evokes the metaphor of a revolving door of identity fluid and chameleon like in nature. Actions were at times driven the anticipated reactions of others following presentation but then reclaimed elsewhere manifested by front and back stage behaviours. The Irish men and women worked inside and alongside systems of control where their identities were contested, ambiguous, or problematised to create a fluid sense of self (selves).

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Copyright c The Author(s) 2020
    Uncontrolled Keywords: 1608 Sociology
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/0791603520939806
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2020 15:30
    Last Modified: 21 Jul 2020 09:58
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/26614

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