On an Island without Sun: Coping Strategies of Sikhs in Ireland

Glenn Jordan, Satwinder Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses 12 coping strategies – tools that Sikh immigrants and their descendants have appropriated to make sense of and engage with their new surroundings in Ireland: (1) keeping tradition alive; (2) improvisation; (3) erasing markers of difference; (4) camouflage; (5) being smart, being tough; (6) being cool; (7) downplaying racism; (8) living with India; (9) crossing over, sharing experience; (10) becoming Asian; (11) becoming black; and (12) pluralist theology. These categories emerged through an engagement with Chicago School thinking from the first half of the twentieth century on modes by which immigrant communities adapt to their new surroundings; through a dialogical, hermeneutic process of reading and reflecting on the interview material; and through reflections on our positions as immigrant, racialised subjects. The mode of presentation is polyvocal – a patchwork quilt of stories and images – and the ‘Sikh identity’ that emerges in the text is plural.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407 - 432
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Intercultural Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2011


  • diaspora
  • immigration
  • Ireland
  • life stories
  • Polyvocality
  • Sikh Identity
  • Sikh Immigrants


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