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Title: Ethnographic explorations of mutual support : the Irish diaspora community in Munich and the German Lutheran community in Dublin in comparative perspective
Author: Ritter, Christian
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2013
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This investigation examines the relationship between social capital acquisition and personal identity development. It traces the evolution of social capital building in two migrant communities and assesses its consequences for the identity development of their members. Drawing on ethnographic data, the Irish community in Munich and the German community in Dublin are explored. The Munich based organisation Irish-German circle of friends is a vital source of social capital. Social trust created among the core members of the Irish community is the prime driving force of its development. The identity of Irish migrants in Munich who are in close contact with the organisation has mainly been reshaped by numerous performances of Irish culture such as the local St. Patrick's Day Parade. Irish migrants adj ust their identities during cultural and religious rituals. In some cases, their belonging is expressed as hybrid since identification with the local Bavarian setting is combined with an enactment of Irish culrural difference. Social capital acquired by Irish migrants has impacted on their multi·layered identities as identity-affecting riruals are established in dense networks of mutual support. In contrast, the case of the Lutheran congregation in Dublin illustrates another driving force of community development. This faith-based community of local German migrants is bound together by the common Lutheran values. German-born Lutherans in Dublin tend to conserve their initial religious identity during spiritual rituals enacted in German. The social cohesion in the church council makes such identity-shaping rituals a reality. My contribution to community research is the case based description of two driving forces enabling community development. Based on evidence from two migrant communities, I argue that conservation of initial identity layers among migrants depends to a certain degree on the social capital acquired in their local community of origin.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available