Transcending cultural differences: the role of language in migrants' integration

Ruth McAreavey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research seeks to contribute to current debates on migration by examining the role of language in the process of migrants’ integration. It will consider how migrant workers living in an area with little history of international immigration navigate their way within a new destination to cope with language difference. The paper is based on empirical research (interviews and focus groups) conducted in Northern Ireland, an English speaking region with a small proportion of Irish-English bilinguals (10.3 percent of population had some knowledge of Irish in the 2001 Census). Much of the research to date, while acknowledging the importance of culture and language for migrants’ positive integration, has only begun to unpack the way in which cultural difference such as language is dealt with at an individual, family or societal level. Several themes emerge from the research including the significance of social and civil structures and the role of individual agents as new culture is created through the celebration of difference.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalTranslocations: Migration and Social Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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