Focusing on identity as a dynamic process, this research investigates the way members of the Romanian community in Ireland narrate and perform their cultural identities. Identities are not just a matter of possessing a certain cultural inventory (Barth, 1969) and they should be understood as relations rather than objects (Madianou, 2005). The way people define themselves and the way they draw boundaries between who they are and who is the ‘other’, is what really gives contour to the blurry concept of identity. Thus I adopt a constructivist approach to identity, one that focuses not solely on the ‘content’ of the diasporic identity (its cultural values, rituals, beliefs, belonging etc.), but also on the boundaries with other groups. It is at the boundaries that symbolic space is negotiated and identities are fiercely debated, constructed and re-constructed.
The role of media in shaping these identities is explored. Through the circulation of cultural values, media have an importa...