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Caring for Syrian Refugee Men

Publikation: Aufsatz, Working Paper
International Feminist Journal of Politics Blog
International Feminist Journal of Politics Blog
Patterns of (Forced) Migration
Kurze Beschreibung / Abstract:
Since the start of the so-called ‘refugee crisis,’ ideas about Syrian men have circulated far and wide. The depictions have rarely been positive. In political discourse and in the media, Syrian men have regularly been portrayed as a threat – to ‘western’ states in general, and to ‘western’ women in particular. On twitter, under the hashtag #refugeesnotwelcome, users depict Syrian men as terrorists and/or cowards who have abandoned the fight. What we hear much less about, however, is what humanitarian workers think about Syrian men. This reflects the fact that refugee men and masculinities have only recently begun to gain more widespread attention in academic circles. In my article in IFJP, I analyse how humanitarian workers relate to Syrian men as objects of care, through an analysis of the Syria refugee response in Jordan, with Za‘tari Refugee Camp the primary field site. I draw on interviews with both Jordanian and ‘international’ humanitarian workers, ranging from NGO Directors to field staff, and focus on what is sometimes called the ‘softer side’ of humanitarian work, such as psychosocial support, ‘empowerment’ programmes, community work, as well as gender work. I wanted to find out whether humanitarians think of refugee men, as they typically do refugee women and children, as uncontroversial objects of care? And whether it matters that these refugee men are Syrian men? How do ideas about Arab men and masculinities shape the ways that Syrian refugee men are seen?
Sprache: English
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