Food, gender and Irishness- how Irish women in Coventry make home


  • Moya Kneafsey Coventry University
  • Rosie Cox Coventry University



This paper focuses on the spaces and social relations of food consumption in order to examine how Irish migrants to Coventry, a city in the English West Midlands, form a sense of identity. On the basis of in depth interviews with first generation migrants, it is argued that food consumption practices are linked to Irish identity in three ways. First, migrants in Coventry were often part of extended family networks that exchanged foods between Britain and Ireland. Second, knowledge about foods and-cooking was gained by many of the interviewees in Ireland, making them familiar and comfortable with specific local foods. Last, and related to this, certain foodstuffs were sought out by interviewees because they were Irish and remembered from 'home'. Specific gender relations pervaded food consumption practices and it was found that women, through their involvement in food purchase and preparation, were key actors in constructing an often ambiguous sense of Irishness in Britain.

Author Biographies

Moya Kneafsey, Coventry University

Department of Geography

Rosie Cox, Coventry University

Department of Geography



How to Cite

Kneafsey, M., & Cox, R. (2014). Food, gender and Irishness- how Irish women in Coventry make home. Irish Geography, 35(1), 6–15.