Second-generation Irish rock musicians in England : cultural studies, pop journalism and musical 'routes'
This thesis focuses on a relatively under-researched immigrant-descended group: the second-generation Irish in post-war England. Taking popular music as a case study, the thesis examines some of the key ways in which the second-generation Irish have been discursively managed in both academic and journalistic discourses. To this end, the thesis develops a critical dialogue with particular aspects of Irish Studies, British Cultural Studies, and the discourse of popular music journalism. Much of this dialogue is, in turn, refracted through the prism of specific themes and issues, especially those pertaining to assimilation, essentialism, and 'white ethnicity'. In addition to these considerations, the thesis also addresses the question of musical 'routes', examining the variegated aesthetic strategies that have been mobilised by second-generation Irish rock musicians such as John Lydon, Kevin Rowland, Shane MacGowan, Noel Gallagher, and The Smiths. Throughout, the thesis is infonned by a desire to challenge the invisibility of the second-generation Irish in academic and journalistic discourses; to highlight the diversity and complexity of second-generation Irish experience and identity-formation processes; and to point to the productive and diverse ways in which second-generation cultural practitioners have reconfigured popular culture in England.