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Time-space patterns of second-wave Irish settlement in British towns
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 13:08 authored by Bronwen Walter
A time-space model, based on Hagerstrand’s (1969) methodology, is used to illustrate the diffusion of a migration stream into new areas at destination and the associated changes in community characteristics at different stages in the settlement sequence. The empirical basis in recent (post-1930s) Irish immigration in Britain, studies at Germani’s (1964) ‘objective’ level using published regional Census date, and at ‘psycho-sociall’ level, drawing on detailed interviews with 142 Irish-born respondents in Luton and Bolton. Quotations illustrate and extend statistical evidence. At both levels, support was found for the hypothesis that change has been initiated by active migrants after a period of settlement in Britain, the resulting distribution being reinforced by sequent and passive migrants, usually direct from Ireland. Thus areas of nineteenth-century immigration in the North West continued to attract Irish immigrants during the period, but gradual adaption to the pattern of economic opportunity for the total population was taking place. The South-East and West Midlands regions expanded most rapidly during the second wave, but recently greater net internal movement to the South West and East Anglia has been recorded. Communities in traditional areas had higher proportions of older female and settled migrants, while in newer areas they were generally younger and more active. Although the model is particularly relevant to groups with high economic motivation and few barriers to external social communication, it also provides a framework within which to study constraints on mobility and its effects on community composition over time.
Publication titleTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
PublisherRoyal Geographical Society