'It Was Better During the War': Narratives of Everyday Violence in a Palestinian Refugee Camp

Citation:

Latif, Nadia. 2012. “‘it Was Better during the War’: Narratives of Everyday Violence in a Palestinian Refugee Camp.” Feminist Review 101 (1): 24–40. doi:10.1057/fr.2011.55.

Author: Nadia Latif

Abstract:

The distinction between what is commonly regarded as the routine of impoverishment and what is acknowledged and remarked upon as violence is increasingly being questioned in scholarship and public policy circles. Interrogating the distinction between routine and remarkable not only reveals the habits and relationships constituting everyday life as the site of violence, but also foregrounds questions of gender. Given that the everyday is shaped by a given community's norms regarding the gendered division of labour that produces and reproduces the conditions of the everyday, in what ways is violence as well as its experience gendered? This article examines this question in the particular context of Palestinian camp refugees’ lived experience of forced displacement in Lebanon. It explores the ways in which the violence used against Palestinian camp refugees draws on norms regarding masculinity and femininity shared by the refugees as well as their Lebanese oppressors. It also examines the ways in which Palestinian camp refugees’ everyday experience of impoverishment as well as the acknowledged violence of forced displacement, subjection to Lebanese military intelligence control, and participation in the armed struggle for national liberation are constituted by and constitutive of unequal subject positions of gender, class and citizenship.

Keywords: Palestinian refugees, Palestinian refugee camps, gender, violence, Lebanese civil war, the everyday

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Citizenship, Class, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2012

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