Irish Culture in America
The history of Ireland is diverse and fact is mixed with fiction. Through the years in which Ireland had a famine, many people migrated over to the United States in order to have a better life and gain some prosperity. When they arrived they were met with less than open arms, but rather a whole new world of discrimination. I will be discussing the summary I have done on the discrimination of Irish in America today, followed by my reactions, two other Irish blooded reactions, the history, identities, and transitions, of these people of which I learned through doing this research.
II. Research Summary
The readings on Irish immigrants in America led me to understand the racism and culture that is new to them from where they used to live and also showed me their personal views of their treatment by the American society. The article in West Magazine is very good, covering many factors relating to the perception of Irish immigrants and their descendents living in the Santa Clara Valley. The article discussed the racism Irish Americans endured, the religion, and the culture that is celebrated. The article is very relevant to the values and communication of Irish Americans and other cultures.
The Irish throughout time have been stereotyped as a very low-culture people. Many people have characterized the Irish as “fighters and drinkers,” (Krim & Early, 1995, p.31) which is not true, because many Irish who are normal working, non-drinking or non-fighting individuals. However, when the holiday called St. Patrick’s Day comes around, it is celebrated with drinking and eventually fighting. The reality is that no matter what bar you go into, you can find a drunk fighting about something, and the drunks are people of all nationalities and cultures. “Me and my father have been sober for more than 5 years,” (Krim & Early, 1995, p.31). Not all the Irish drink and the stereotype is false in many cases pertaining to Irish Americans.
Another value of the Irish is uncertainty avoidance, “which concerns the degree to which people who feel threatened by ambiguous situations respond by avoiding them” (Martin & Nakayama, 2000, 70). This leads the Irish to “prefer to reduce rules, accept dissent, and take risks” (Martin & Nakayama, 2000, 70). This can be supported by the massive immigration to the United States during the Potato Famine. Many Irish took to the seas during this period, and it was a great risk for so many to cross a sea and enter a world new to them, breaking away from the British power that controlled their lives. This emigration also demonstrates a sense of free will, which encompasses the need for change and to continue trying even if you fail. I noticed that the Irish are perceived as a group that works hard for what it wants and doesn’t seem to give in to the norms of society.
The new vision of Irish immigrants seems to be much healthier than that of previous generalizations. ...