• HOW TO PRACTICE IRISHNESS: HYPHENATED IDENTITY AT IRISH AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTERS

    Author(s):
    Leslie Singel
    Editor(s):
    Kreg Abshire (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Subject(s):
    American cultural studies, Irish culture, Museum studies
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    cultural centers, Irish-american identity
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M60K26B16
    Abstract:
    The typical member or patron of an Irish American cultural center is hungry for an “authentic” experience. Irish Americans several generations removed from their homeland may travel to these centers in Chicago, Kansas City, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and beyond to temporarily and memorably explore their heritage. And yet, the cultural center is a strange creature: part museum, part school, part community center…and oftentimes, part pub. The patrons of such institutions have become increasingly diverse and, therefore, harder to please and more difficult to reach. Contemporary centers are taxed with juggling the wishes and expectations of three major groups, not to mention smaller sub-groups.[1] However, the time has come to acknowledge that the Irish American cultural center is not only a gathering place or a location of ethnic belonging but is in fact a social movement in its own right, one that has been overlooked in the larger field of American Studies. Reliant upon an army of volunteers and generous donors, the cultural center is a unique, fragile, expressive, and dynamic snapshot of American culture. Irish Americans have asserted their identity, their protest against complete assimilation and acculturation, through the purchase and self-sustainment of such organizations for generations.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    10 months ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial
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