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Who's Your Paddy?Racial Expectations and the Struggle for Irish American Identity$
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Jennifer Nugent Duffy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814785027

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814785027.001.0001

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Bad Paddies Talk Back

Bad Paddies Talk Back

(p.167) 5 Bad Paddies Talk Back
Who's Your Paddy?

Jennifer Nugent Duffy

NYU Press

This chapter highlights the voices of Irish newcomers, both new and newer Irish immigrants in Yonkers, and how they interact with the good Paddy Irish model. While conditions both in Ireland and in the United States have changed since the migration of earlier Irish cohorts to the city, legal status largely sets Irish newcomers apart from their predecessors. As such, these cohorts reveal how being undocumented often makes it difficult to conform to, or even care about, established benchmarks for Irishness in the United States; namely, hard work, order, loyalty, faith, and family. While a precarious legal status encourages indifference toward being a particular kind of Irish person in the United States, their sentiments nonetheless also suggest a greater certainty about America’s bipolar racial order.

Keywords:   Irish newcomers, good Paddy Irish model, Irishness in the United States, undocumented Irish, bipolar racial order

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