Memory, war and the Italians in Edinburgh: The role of communal myth

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The outbreak of war between Italy and Britain in June 1940 had devastating consequences for Italian immigrant communities in Britain, including the internment and relocation of many Italian nationals. This article explores the construction of powerful communal myths about the war within the Italian Scottish community and looks at how the dominance of a singular elite narrative has silenced or denied the memories of different groups within the community. Through an analysis of the life story narratives of second-generation Italians, this article aims to provide an alternative perspective, recovering the diversity and multiplicity of wartime experience. It also highlights the need to address wartime antagonism towards the Italians within the broader context of domestic traditions of anti-alienism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-436
Number of pages15
JournalNational Identities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Ethnicity
  • Belonging
  • Intolerance
  • Narratives
  • Fascism


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