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Migration, life narratives, memory and subjectivity: Reflections on an archival project on Irish migration

Breda Gray


This article considers three theoretical approaches (late-modern, post-modern and feminist) to the apparent obsession with self-narration and memory in the early twenty-first century as they relate to an archival project on Irish migration. This archival project focused on the life narratives of those who witnessed mass out-migration from 1950s Ireland. The article reflects on the extent to which this project and the motivations of both the researchers and contributors reflect these theoretical accounts of the biographical turn.


Life narratives; memory; migration; subjectivity; late modernity

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