Women’s Place in the History of the Irish and Immigrant Women: Nowhere at Home


Women’s Place in the History of the Irish

Women’s Place in the History of the Irish by Janet Nolan argues the significance of understanding Irish women’s role during the Irish Diaspora. She focuses on how Irish women had a large effect on Ireland and American during the Irish Diaspora in making Irish America their new home. These women outnumbered Irish men and were mostly unmarried which allowed them to get a job in either industrial settings or as a domestic servant. I find it interesting how Nolan asserts that Irish women and Irish men faced the same struggles in terms of their wages. However, Nolan depicts several reasons as to why we should study Irish Women. The first reason is that large amounts of women added lots of weight in number of Irish migrating to America. The second reason is that these women worked to support further immigration for their family members which gave millions of Irish the chance to immigrate to America. The third reason Nolan touches on is how Irish women were unmarried when they immigrated to America. By being unmarried they had the same challenges as Irish men in terms of economic and social problems. The fourth reason is that the money Irish woman earned was sent to post-famine Ireland in benefiting those family members who depended on money for survival. Irish women in America helped fund the American Catholic Church as well as help create parish and Catholic schools for other Irish Americans. The most important reason is that the funds provided by working Irish women in America helped organize and finance the republican takeover of Ireland, which saved their country. Furthermore, Nolan concludes that these reasons of Irish women’s role in Irish Diaspora are not fully integrated into the study of Irish Diaspora. Irish women were the “pioneers who forged” Irish America and must be apart of studying Irish Diaspora history.


Immigrant Women: Nowhere at Home

Immigrant Women: Nowhere at Home by Donna Gabaccia explores the reasoning of why immigrant women studies are looked at through different perspectives. She argues that the differences that have developed are between the disciplines of immigration history and women’s history. Gabbaccia focuses on two perspectives of research in immigrant women. The first and most common perspective researched is about immigrant women and their families. This particularly concerns why they immigrated, how their life has changed in America and what challenges they have faced as a family. She shows that those who study immigrant women often analyze them within a family aspect. The other perspective that is looked at is unmarried women and those in the workforce. This study focuses on women’s diversity and individualism of immigrant women.

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