Keeping the accent? Voice, alterity, and memory in oral history interviews with Northern Ireland migrants in England

Fearghus Roulston, Jack Crangle, Graham Dawson, Liam Harte, Barry Hazley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

This article discusses a series of interviews with migrants from the North of Ireland to Britain during the Troubles (1969–1998) to explore how they narrate their experiences of movement and settlement by talking about voice and accent. Drawing specifically on two interviews—one with someone who felt her accent caused her to be seen as illiberal and uncivilized, and another who felt he could use his accent situationally and actively, sometimes to his advantage—we argue that accent is a site where interviewees can describe aspects of their memories of migration. Additionally, we argue that existing sociological work on voice, accent, and Irishness in Britain provides useful conceptual framing for this kind of research, but that an oral history methodology makes a more nuanced understanding of accent possible, both in terms of its relationship to individual life trajectories and in terms of the specific histories it relates to (in this instance, the history of the war in both Ireland and Britain).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-107
Number of pages19
JournalOral History Review
Volume51
Issue number1
Early online date20 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • accent
  • migration
  • Northern Ireland
  • the Troubles

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