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Migration, Memory and Identity: Italians and Nation-Building in Wales, 1940-2010

Giudici, Marco (2012) Migration, Memory and Identity: Italians and Nation-Building in Wales, 1940-2010. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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Abstract

Despite being a numerical minority, Italians have become one of Wales’ most noticeable migrant groups, their narratives figuring prominently in Welsh popular culture and collective memory. Yet, like other ethnic minorities in Wales, they have been neglected in academic enquiry, with the history of immigration to Britain being traditionally addressed in an Anglocentric perspective. This thesis aims to fill this academic gap and provide an original historical contribution to migration studies. In so doing, it primarily aims to disclose two under-investigated areas of investigation; firstly, small-town, rural and geographically dispersed patterns of migration and, secondly, migration to stateless nations. This thesis shows that, despite their numerical marginality, geographically dispersed migrants can resist assimilation and maintain distinct cultural identities. They can even culturally influence their receiving society, being incorporated in its process of nation-building; Italian migrant narratives have ideally served a reinforcement of Wales’ tolerant and inclusive image. Thus, this thesis illustrates that, contrary to popular belief, national(istic) claims are not necessarily in contrast with immigration. It shows that stateless nations aiming to gain increasing autonomy can use their immigration history to construct and disseminate a tolerant and inclusive national image, one that aims to foster both indigenous people and migrants’ sense of national belonging.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2015 11:10
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2015 11:10
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/5864
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