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Title: The dignity of displacement : Syrian and Palestinian refugees negotiating masculinity and citizenship in Germany
Author: Rushworth, Philip
ISNI:       0000 0004 9354 0312
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis investigates the intersection of masculinity and citizenship in the striving for dignity of young male Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Germany from 2016 to 2018. It describes discourses and practices of dignity in the context of everyday lives shaped by compulsory integration policies, instances of inhospitality and the stigma of refugee identity. The study contributes to growing interest in the impact of displacement on the masculine identity of male refugees but seeks to develop this work by situating masculinity in relation to citizenship. The everyday lives of Syrians and Palestinians in Germany were framed by questions such as what needs to be done by when to be able to remain in Germany? What constitutes someone as a “refugee” or citizen? What establishes oneself as worthy of the right to belong? The thesis therefore goes beyond asking what happens to masculinity in displacement to explore how dignity centres on the intersection of masculinity and claims to citizenship as the site of a dialectic that was configured in diverse and sometimes surprising ways. What emerges is not a clear narrative or experience of “accomplishment”, nor is it a “crisis of masculinity” of migrant men who suffer from the stigma of displacement and exclusion in the host society. It is more accurate to characterise young male Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Dresden as vacillating between two poles, in which masculine identity was an inventive and plastic identity that offered a site for claims to belong in Germany, but also, in other instances, the perceived or real barrier to such belonging. The thesis therefore describes everyday lives oriented in complex ways and with varying consequences to the interplay of masculine trajectories and citizenship as sources of dignity in the new environment.
Supervisor: Anderson, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Migration ; Masculinity ; Citizenship