Edited By Anne Goarzin
Football and Identity: The Irish in Scotland and the Algerians in France
In this chapter I propose to address representations of identity in France and Ireland by going ‘outside the frame’ in two ways: first, I will examine and compare the assimilation trajectories of Irish Catholics in Scotland and the Algerians in France; secondly, I will use association football as a lens that will provide the focus for this research.
Although this may initially appear to be a somewhat incongruous choice, a comparison of Ireland and Algeria does in fact reveal many similarities. Both countries spent long periods as colonies of a powerful neighbour. Their native languages were different from that of the colonizer, but today most Irish speak English and French still serves as a language of the élite in Algeria. Moreover, the predominantly Catholic population of Ireland was controlled by Protestant England, while Algeria’s Muslims were colonized by Catholic France. The nationalist movements in both countries waged a war on the occupier which was ultimately successful but left scars on all concerned.1 Finally, large numbers of migrants left Ireland and Algeria to look for a better life in the UK and France, respectively. It is at the interface of these communities, the Algerians and the French on the one hand, and the Irish and the Scots on the other, that this study will examine how culture and identity may be being shaped. ← 181 | 182 →
The processes through which immigrants achieve assimilation has been an important area of study for almost a century.2 The classic...
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