Irish Research Paper Shawn Fernandez 3/05/01 ICS 7 Research Paper Irish Culture in America I. Introduction 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. Patricks 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 doesnt 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.
The action and doing value, which is entangled in the values, seems to be present in the lives of Irish immigrants, The young Irish coming over here today are much more sophisticated, more educated, and more ambitious (Krim & Early, 1995, p.33). There is a definite sense of the contact hypothesis in the Santa Clara Valley, where cultures seem to communicate better than if they were separated by culture. The big melting pot of this city (San Jose) brings cultures together, where in other areas of the country, are still segregated based on race (Morgan, 2001). This is relevant because it means that the chances of group members being of equal status are higher.Therefore, communication can exist between cultures without the dominance issue, being the lower class in job or race. The Santa Clara Valley race issue is not a factor or a prerequisite to be dominant. The Irish can integrate into any conversation and almost any culture without being seen as a threat to the other culture.
They even relate to being a minority in some cases, We hide feelings, Irish have a distrust for authority, Some think we are stupid or uncultured, Ive even been called a paddy or mink(Krim & Early, 1995, p.33) basically a norm for most minorities in societies carrying a dominant culture or race. Whenever a group has a separate identity compared with the rest of the surrounding groups or cultures, the chances of discrimination or racism increase tremendously. III.
Reactions & Analysis My own reactions to the readings were mixed. The books, which I read, had contrasting views based on people and culture. It seems to me that many people are very judgmental and take things to heart, where others seem to be more comfortable with their identity and proud rather than easily affected by discriminatory words.
The West article told about both sides of Irish Americans living in this county. The bad experiences were blatant and quoted with as much emphasis as possible for greatest impact to the reader.The good side was directly contrasted. The author could have included a gray area to show the common ground for Irish Americans in the Silicon Valley, but chose to make the issues more controversial. The generalization that Irish drink and fight may or may not relate to me. Since I turned 20, I have been drinking heavily at least every other day. So I have no premise to say that Irish dont drink, except that I think this is just a phase in my life right now.
My father, who is also Irish, drinks a lot, and has been doing so for quite a while. So, based on my experience I have no evidence that Irish do not like to drink. As for the fighting, I have not been in a fight for 3 years, so I am not completely able to fend off that stereotype based on my own experience. As for my father, well, lets just say he doesnt back down from confrontations very easily.
Therefore, I must agree with these generalizations. The one which I must disagree with is that the Irish are discriminated against.I see discrimination everyday, and rarely do I see an Irish as the one being harassed or taken down because of the way they talk, where they are from, or because of their history. The values continua: Control ————————— Free Will The Irish are much more on the side of Free Will rather than control, because they are open to change and freed themselves from the clutches of famine to better their situation. Single Focused ——————————– Multi-Focused Slow Paced —————————– Fast Paced The Irish seem to be very single focused based on the books I read, although I feel that based on the environment in these days and place, they tend to be multi-focused and fast paced, especially in the Silicon Valley. Doing ————–Being—————- Becoming Past —————-Present———— Future I feel that the Irish get things done, but the being value is very highly stressed in the books. The past is also very valued in Ireland, and traditions are respected.
I would agree that history is very important with the readings I have done and my experiences. Low Context ——————– High Context Informal ———————– Formal Emotional Expression —————————– Emotional Restraint The readings emphasize that the Irish are informal and indirect. They dont always say everything that they want to say, and can be informal in manners at times because of family orientation. They were also tainted as being emotionally restrained mostly in part to British rule and the inferiority of Irish in their homeland. Public ———————— Private The reading drifts toward privacy, and the security within family.
I tend to agree with the readings here as well. Hierarchy ——————- Equality There tend to be equality as much as possible, besides the history of Ireland, the Irish have always wanted equality and to escape British rule. Individualistic ———————- Collectivist High Profile ————————- Low Profile The readings demonstrate high individualism in groups, as an organization or club, which can be different than a big congregation in order to promote change. The profile of the Irish was different in many articles, and therefore I would base the mark on middle profile. It varies depending on whom you talk to.Highly Competitive —————————– Cooperative Task ———————– Relationship Achievement ————————– Character Aggressive————————– Harmonious Through the readings, I found that many Irish are cooperative, stemming from their upbringin …