The controversy surrounding the New York City St. Patrick's Day parade suggests that Irish ethnicity in the United States is still an important site of identity formation and fragmentation. In this paper I examine the New York City parades between 1990 and 2001 where a conflict has developed between the organizers of the parade, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization, who want a place in the parade but have been denied entrance. The identity politics that surround the St. Patrick's Day parade controversy suggest that for diasporic communities, ethnic and national identities are highly contested and that boundaries-some hard and fast, others more permeable - are constructed along any number of axes. For the construction of Irish identity in New York City within-group identity is disputed across a number of these axes with the most important difference being sexual identity, particularly when it is being performed in a public space.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Sociology and Political Science