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Interpretative Repertoire of Victimhood: Narrating Experiences of Discrimination and Ethnic Hatred among Polish Migrants in Belfast

Marta Kempny

Keywords: discrimination; hate crime; identity; interpretative repertoire; narrative; victimhood

Abstract

Based on one year of ethnographic fieldwork, this article discusses the narratives of perceived discrimination and ethnic hatred of Polish migrants in Belfast. Using narrative theory, it examines the construction of identity of Poles as an unprivileged stratum of the Northern Irish society. Migrants' stories are followed by analysis of the contradictions and tensions between what they construct as their realities and 'objective truth'. Subsequently, the article accounts for these tensions by exploring the links between 'cultural repertoires' of Polish migrants and the ways in which their narratives are presented.

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