The Irish Community at Home and Abroad

  • Sean O’ Dubhghaill


The central theme of this chapter is to address the question of how, and exact manner in which, the Irish community in Belgium might be examined anthropologically and thought of as European. Moreover, the work teases out the particular difficulties of how the concept of community has been deployed, how it presupposes something that cannot be demonstrated and the fact that community is both an imaginary and personal entity. Examining the Irish communities who live in Belgium, their claims about belonging and how they imagine their lives also touches on aspects that are deeply personal and strike at the very heart of how we are connected to our place of birth, even though we reside overseas. This introductory chapter aims to establish a general repertoire for what exactly an Irish community is, and how it has been studied anthropologically, so that a better understanding can be obtained of how we might investigate an Irish community overseas (and whether that community comprises a diaspora or not).


Community Ireland Anthropology Imaginary 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sean O’ Dubhghaill
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Social SciencesKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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