Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Tamsin Cavaliero
International Youth Conference
Traveller Youth and the Performance of Identity
NUI Maynooth
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
This paper examines the ways in which young Travellers construct their identities. Both Liégeois (1987) and Belton (2005) have indicated that a salient characteristic of Traveller identity is the polarity of position in relation to the majority sedentary community whereby opposition creates a sense of group cohesiveness in response to an inhospitable environment. Taking into account Hall¿s (1996) assertion that the ¿constitution of a social identity is an act of power¿ the paper explores ways in which Traveller identity is gendered and performed (Butler, 1990) through an examination of the role that new technologies play in the construction and representation of identity. Despite frequent claims of lower rates of literacy and scholastic success, young Travellers are fluent in the use of social media, digital photography, video technology and mobile phones. Through the use of new technological devices, and the consumption of different media sources, identity is constructed. Research was conducted in a variety of settings (including formal and nonformal educational environments) using a sensory ethnography approach (Pink, 2009). The suggestion is made that young Travellers are active agents in the construction and maintenance of collective identity.