Ireland's unique position as the only state in the European Union to have been colonized, coupled with the ambivalent experiences of Irish people within the British Empire, means that issues of "race" in Ireland are overlaid by complex social and historical forces. This book is an analysis of the racialization of Irish identities. The author examines key phases in the historical development of an Irish "racial" consciousness, including 16th century colonization and 19th century immigration to America and Great Britain. He then examines the legacy of this relationship, both in terms of the new migration into Ireland and relations with indigenous minorities -travellers and Irish Jews. Garner explores the problematic links between nationalist ideologies and racism. He assesses the economic, social and political factors framing the experience of minorities in contemporary Ireland, and places these in a broader European context.
Steve Garner is Lecturer in Sociology at Aston University. He is the author of 'Racism in the Irish Experience' (2003), 'Whiteness' (2007) and 'Racisms' (2009). He also taught sociology at the Universities of Paris, Cork, and Bristol-UWE.