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Syrian Refugee Men in Za‘tari Camp: Humanitarianism, Masculinities, and “Vulnerabilities”

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Lewis TurnerORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Lebanon Support, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This paper summarises the findings of a research project on humanitarian work with Syrian refugee men, focused on Za‘tari Refugee Camp in Jordan. It argues that, for humanitarians, refugee men present a challenge. They are read in gendered and racialized ways, as independent, agential, political and at times threatening, and thereby disrupt humanitarian visions of refugeehood as a passive, feminised subject position. In this paper, these arguments are demonstrated through an exploration of some of the key areas the research focused on: how Syrian men were understood as objects of humanitarian care, how humanitarians understood Syrian men’s (non-)“vulnerability,” and Syrian men’s attempts to create livelihoods opportunities in the camp. The paper is based on extensive ethnographic participant-observation in the camp, and interviews with humanitarian workers and Syrian refugees in Jordan, which was undertaken in 2015-2016.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Turner L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Civil Society Review

Year: 2020

Volume: 1

Issue: 4

Pages: 48-59

Print publication date: 01/07/2020

Online publication date: 01/07/2020

Acceptance date: 24/10/2019

Date deposited: 23/10/2020

ISSN (print): 2617-6025

Publisher: Lebanon Support


DOI: 10.28943/CSR.004.004


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