Accepted Paper:

Negotiating uncertainty: home-making among Irish-Romanians in Dublin  

Author:

Adam Drazin (University College London)

Paper short abstract:

Anthropological approaches to certainty lie at the intersection of internalised personal intentionality and official representations of the social future. People from Romania living in Ireland negotiate uncertain situations around material homes, families and spoken representations.

Paper long abstract:

Anthropological approaches to certainty lie at the intersection of internalised personal intentionality and the authority of official representations of the social future. This paper investigates the ways people in a particularly pertinent situation of uncertainty deploy material objects and spoken words to manifest intentions and directionality about their domestic futures. In recent years, a large number of people have moved from different parts of Romania to Ireland. Although their backgrounds differ immensely, in many cases, their declared reason has been to establish a physical home for making a family, either in Romania or in Ireland. The pluralistic project of home-making however (as thing or place and as people or family) is strongly interlinked when in Ireland with official documentation, with local notions of who is Irish and who is not, and with worlds of work. Material consumption (saving money, buying goods, or sending goods to Romania) becomes an unexpectedly highly politicised and visible arena, and too overt verbal statements about oneself can also become problematic. It is suggested that this group, moving from an experience of what was a post-socialist society to a country sometimes heralded as the economic future of Europe, can be taken as particularly pertinent example of European social conditions today, and of how certainty and uncertainty is negotiated.

Panel W058
Moral journeys: manifestations of certainty and uncertainty across Europe