Complicating host-newcomer dualisms: Irish return migrants as home-comers or newcomers?

Thumbnail Image
Ní Laoire, Caitríona
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Dublin City University
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Popular discourses of contemporary Irish society are often structured on the basis of dualisms which oppose a perceived native/Irish/host community to an imagined foreign/non-Irish/newcomer community. This paper uses the example of Irish return migration to challenge these pervasive dualisms and to highlight the blurred nature of boundaries between host and newcomer. The paper draws on life narrative interviews with recent return migrants to reveal the ways in which they constantly move between the shifting positions of ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’. Migrant narratives of home and return are conceptualised in terms of the ways in which home is inhabited and remembered differently with migration, and as a result is continuously being reprocessed. It is argued that neither home nor belonging are static constructs, and that return migrants constantly re-make and reproduce home and belonging. In this way, they ‘bring home’ to non-migrants the inherent instability of accepted concepts of place, identity and belonging, and in doing so, unsettle powerful imagined insider outsider dualisms.
Return , Migration , Narrative , Home , Belonging , Irish migration
Ni Laoire, C. (2008) 'Challenging host-newcomer dualisms: Irish return migrants as home-comers or newcomers?', Translocations: Migration and Social Change, 4(1), pp. 35-50.
© 2008 Ní Laoire. Translocations: Migration and Social Change, An Inter-Disciplinary Open Access E-Journal, ISSN Number: 2009-0420