Irish immigration into the United States became substantial early in the nineteenth century, and Irish-American men have since achieved positions throughout the American social structure. Although these men form a diverse group, subtle scrutiny reveals common notions and experiences of manhood among them.

While recognizing the cultural complications brought about by extensive marriage across ethnic lines by Irish Americans, two broad generalizations can still be made about the history of Irish-American manhood. First, Irish-American men have constructed their notions of masculinity through cultural accretion or substitution, rather than simply either rejecting or retaining traits from the “old country.” They have thus supplemented and recast beliefs and behaviors previously promoted in their homeland. Second, Irish-American men moved from widespread poverty in the nineteenth century to a ...

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