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Marriage and Displacement among Palestinian and Syrian Refugees in Jordan

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Marriage and Displacement among Palestinian and Syrian Refugees in Jordan

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Samenvatting

This thesis investigates the interplay between displacement and marriage practices among Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Jordan. Processes of national identification, belonging, and citizenship rights impact marriage practices, and do so differently depending on the particular displacement history of refugees. The thesis problematizes the narrative of international development organizations that mainly link displacement to the practice of early marriage, of which young girls are presented as the ultimate victims. The research shows that while refugee families are vulnerable in the face of displacement and poverty, refugee girls consider themselves active participants in their marriages and they together with their families employ agentive abilities in navigating their precarious legal and economic conditions. The analysis of the data also demonstrates that one cannot target the young girls without targeting the structural conditions they face. While the projects these organizations implement locally aim at raising awareness around ‘negative’ marriage practices, their main role lies in providing for semi-public female spaces at local centres that become one of the places available to women to search for brides for their male relatives. These centres thus become embedded in local matchmaking practices and in the social fabric of refugees. This thesis also brings forth the aspirational aspect of marriages in displacement ignored in development narratives.
Marriages play a central role in rebuilding social networks and creating a sense of home, areas that are gravely impacted by war and displacement. Investigating marriage practices among Palestinians and Syrians in Jordan shows the ways refugees navigate their uncertain and precarious conditions, while simultaneously shaping their environment and working towards improving their lives.

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OrganisatieHogeschool Leiden
AfdelingFaculteit M&B
LectoraatRecht en Rechtvaardigheid
Datum2020-05-01
TaalNederlands

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