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Title: Identity and migration : an ethnography of the Welsh in London
Author: Segrott, J. R.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis explores Welsh life in London, concentrating upon the post-war period. It is based upon in-depth interviews and participant observation carried out in London during 1998 and 1999. The central focus is on the construction of Welsh identities in London, and the links between identity and migration. The thesis draws upon theories of identity, travel and diaspora. Questions of identity are explored on three levels. Firstly, experiences of Welsh people living in London are discussed. The thesis considers the effects of migration upon identity. It examines how self-identities more generally might be thought of in terms of travel and multiple geographical attachments. The ways in which people engage with Welsh societies in London is discussed. Secondly, the construction of identities by London Welsh organisations is considered. It is suggested that Welsh culture in London can both replicate and be different from Welsh culture in Wales. The thesis examines how societies connect the Welsh language and culture with other social axes (such as education). It discusses how Welsh life in London is fragmented, particularly along lines of class and generation. The research examines the Welsh chapel network, new societies such as SWS (Social, Welsh and Sexy), and The London Welsh School. The role of London Welsh societies in shaping national life in Wales is considered. It is argued that this might lead to a less bounded conceptualisation of national identity. Thirdly, the collective identity of the Welsh as a group in London is examined. The thesis argues that they occupy an ambiguous position in England as both 'insiders' and 'outsiders'. The Welsh are both fully integrated into London life as British citizens, yet maintain a distinctive cultural identity. It is argued that this points to the unstable nature of national identity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available