Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Research)


School of Health & Social Science

First Advisor

Dr. Colm O'Doherty


This research explored aspect of the social changes attached to the arrival of immigrants in a smaller-type rural community. It was particularly concerned with how this newly multicultural community was adapting to and accepting of a new social identity.

This study may have provided the first opportunity for locals and new-comers to engage with the nature of changes happening in the community and to speak out on what they had to say.

Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with 5 local population members, 5 adult immigrants and 2 support service staff. This research examined levels of cultural nationalism among local respondents, how the immigrant population regarded their position and identity in their new surroundings and how immigrant support workers saw their role as service providers.

Results showed that, in spite of strong concerns with changes in the community, levels of racist thinking among local respondents were more associated with cultural nationalism than personal racist attitudes towards new-comers. However, recorded low efforts at integration and adoption of host country identity, indicate that immigrant respondents are likely to experience adaptational difficulties which can benefit from better bridging interventions. Discussion at each stage reflects on coping levels and the adaptive defenses being deployed while this community adjusts to new multicultural social structures.

Access Level