"I think they’re just the same as us": Building solidarity across the self/other divide

  • Ria O'Sullivan-Lago University of Limerick


The geographical movement of individuals all over the world has consequences that are both societal and psychological. Rapid contact with cultural others can be problematic at the community and individual level, however it also offers opportunities for connection and solidarity between self and other. Drawing on the results of a qualitative interview study based in Ireland with Irish locals, immigrants and asylum seekers, four representational strategies to familiarize the other and the act of perspective taking are explored. These strategies allow the individuals to find common ground occupied by both self and other so that identities can be extended, bridging the divide between self and other which offers possibilities for dialogue, connection, mutual obligation, inclusion and solidarity in the newly multicultural space.

Author Biography

Ria O'Sullivan-Lago, University of Limerick

RIA O’SULLIVAN-LAGO is a researcher at the University of Limerick, Ireland exploring Irish Catholic religious’ involvement in the politics of migration. She recently completed her PhD in Oxford Brookes University on the impact of cultural continuity on the Dialogical Self. Her research interests include identity, dialogue, immigration and asylum, inter-group communication and conflict, macro-level psychology, and cultural continuity.