The Impact of Armed Conflict on Male Youth in Mindanao, Philippines


Rajendran, Shobhana, David Veronesi, Nasrudin Mohammad, and Alimudin Mala. 2006. The Impact of Armed Conflict on Male Youth in Mindanao, Philippines. 35.  Washington, DC: Conflict Prevention and Reconstruction, World Bank.

Authors: Shobhana Rajendran, David Veronesi, Nasrudin Mohammad, Alimudin Mala


This study is a companion to an earlier study on Gender and Conflict in Mindanao that was heavily focused on the impact of armed conflict on women (including young women), and stems from a need to understand the situation of young men in the context of the conflict in Mindanao. It also complements a study conducted in early 2005 that examines the impact of the conflict on men, women and youth in five provinces of Mindanao. (SEEP)

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Development, Gender, Men, Boys, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines

Year: 2006

Male Gender and Rituals of Resistance in the Palestinian Intifada: A Cultural Politics of Violence


Peteet, Julie. 1994. “Male Gender and Rituals of Resistance in the Palestinian Intifada: A Cultural Politics of Violence.” American Ethnologist 21 (1): 31–49.

Author: Julie Peteet


This article examines ritualized inscriptions of bodily violence upon Palestinian male youths in the occupied territories. It argues that beatings and detention are construed as rites of passage into manhood. Bodily violence is crucial in the construction of a moral self among its recipients, who are enabled to juxtapose their own cultural categories of manhood and morality to those of a foreign power. Ritual as a transformative experience foregrounds a political agency designed to reverse relations of domination between occupied and occupier. Simultaneously, it both reaffirms and transforms internal Palestinian forms of domination.

Keywords: middle east, masculinity, ritual performance, violence, body, construction of self

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Occupation, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 1994

Youth Organisations and the Construction of Masculine Identities in the Ciskei and Transkei, 1945-1960


Mager, Anne. 1998. “Youth Organisations and the Construction of Masculine Identities in the Ciskei and Transkei, 1945-1960.” Journal of Southern African Studies 24 (4): 653–67.

Author: Anne Mager


Organisations of Xhosa-speaking youth – predominantly boys and young men – in the 1950s and 1960s were critical spaces for the construction of masculine identities in rural Ciskei and Transkei. In the context of post-Second World War industrialisation, collapsing reserve agriculture and apartheid rule, these organisations were critical sites for filtering influences and fashioning values and lifestyles. While boys and young men constantly reconstructed a distinction between boyhood and manhood around the axis of circumcision, they reinvented notions of masculinity in the shadow of decreasing prospects of establishing themselves as men with rural homesteads and herds of cattle. Moreover, in the absence of migrant fathers, youth organisations operated with considerable autonomy in rural localities. Concomitantly, the terrain on which boys and young men constructed their identities was shaped more by inter-group rivalry, aggressive behaviour and control over girls than by generational conflict.

Topics: Age, Youth, Ethnicity, Gender, Men, Boys, Masculinity/ies, Sexuality, Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1998

'Ducktails, Flick-knives and Pugnacity': Subcultural and Hegemonic Masculinities in South Africa, 1948-1960


Mooney, Katie. 1998. “‘Ducktails, Flick-knives and Pugnacity’: Subcultural and Hegemonic Masculinities in South Africa, 1948-1960.” Journal of Southern African Studies 24: 753–74.

Author: Katie Mooney


The Ducktails were a white youth gang subculture that emerged within post Second World War South Africa. They were rebellious, hedonistic, apolitical and displayed little respect for the law, education or work. Collectively their identity was shaped by specific racial, class and gender elements. Within gender studies, femininity has been at the forefront whereas investigations into masculinities have rarely featured. This article contributes towards a better understanding of masculinity and particularly white masculine identities within an historical context. Particular attention is given to the way male members of the subculture constructed, sustained and practiced their masculinity. Specifically, this article argues that Ducktail masculinity was not static or homogeneous but was rather multifarious, embracing characteristics such as image, territoriality, loyalty, pugnacity, competitiveness, virility and homophobia. This sets the context for an exploration of the relationship of conformity, conflict and control that emerged between Ducktail masculinity and other more accepted and dominant masculinities.

Topics: Age, Youth, Class, Gender, Men, Boys, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Race, Sexuality, Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1998

Armed Resistance: Masculinities, Egbesu Spirits, and Violence in the Niger Delta of Nigeria


Golden, Rebecca Lynne. 2012. “Armed Resistance: Masculinities, Egbesu Spirits, and Violence in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.” PhD diss., Tulane University.

Author: Rebecca Lynne Golden



This dissertation addresses the Ijaw/Ijo armed resistance movement for self-determination waged by young men against multinational oil companies and the Federal Government of Nigeria in the Niger Delta. I investigated the reciprocity of violence, the transgression of social order, and the search for legitimacy. The processes of defining Ijaw masculinities as responses to the everyday militarization and of this riverine, polluted environment and the increasing marginalization of Ijaw youth encompassed three dimensions of warriorhood, cosmology, and reciprocal, brutal disorder. This struggle was not one of disengagement but of diverse involvement, where a generation of men, were torn together by poverty, despair, and revolt. Complex notions of agency, (dis)connection, and belonging provide outlets for a youth-based political hierarchy that hurls young men over the gerontocracy and into the mainstream of Ijaw petrol politics. Armed with Egbesu (powerful Ijaw god of justice and war) warriors intensified their violent resistance, infused with renewed vigor from historical, ethno-spiritual identities. I demonstrated, through a progression of violent professionalization and a new democracy, that indigenous cosmology shaped and legitimized the struggle against the Nigerian Government; Egbesu orders daily lives in a world of disorder. The war god offers a counter-balance to tradition and modernity, and yet he is the manifestation of both. I revealed that the modern Ijaw warrior believes that well-organized, fighting organizations are capable of propelling the Delta out of her problems while socially promoting young men to senior status, as condoned by their elders. The new Ijaw warrior dreams of returning to his village or town as a hero to supplant older forms of rule, yet he is no longer in control of his lands and trading routes. Instead, oil lifting, pipeline sabotage, and burning cash have become the new order. The armed rebellion wove a web of betrayals and disillusionment. The contradictory reverberations of failures and successes of Ijaw warriors continues to anchor everyday meanings on historical transgressions, warrior obligations, and future aspirations for social inclusion, while sequestering the emergent Ijaw warrior in perpetual battle. He is the unseen additive in the Nigerian oil, on which the world depends.

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Democracy / Democratization, Economies, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Boys, Masculinity/ies, Men, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Multi-National Corporations, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2012

'For My Children:’: Constructing Family and Navigating the State in the U.S.-Mexico Transnation


Boehm, Deborah A. 2008. “‘For My Children:’: Constructing Family and Navigating the State in the U.S.-Mexico Transnation.” Anthropological Quarterly 81 (4): 777–802.

Author: Deborah A. Boehm


Transnational children—ranging from infants to teenagers—reside in, and migrate to and from, both Mexico and the United States. This paper considers this understudied population, the youngest members of Mexican migrant communities, to understand shifting configurations of kinship in a transnational space. By focusing on transnational families with ties to San Luis Potosí and several locales in the U.S. Southwest, I study the everyday experiences of Mexican migrants to demonstrate the presence and power of the U.S. state in family life. This paper examines a dilemma in transnational lives: a primary motivation for migration is to support and benefit children, and yet children are repeatedly in precarious or threatening situations precisely because of transnational movement, their own and that of their family members. The inclusion of children in the study of transnationality, I argue, nuances our understanding of the (re)production and (re)structuring of kinship. Moreover, a focus on children as embedded within families problematizes popular conceptions of migrants as solely autonomous agents, uncovering the multiple ways in which the actions of parents, children, and other family members are repeatedly shaped and constrained by state policies.

Keywords: transnationalism, mexico, children, transnational children, migrants, migration

Topics: Age, Youth, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Girls, Boys, Households Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico, United States of America

Year: 2008

Sudanese Refugee Youth in Foster Care: The ‘Lost Boys’ in America


Bates, Laura, Diane Baird, Deborah J. Johnson, Robert E. Lee, Tom Luster, and Christine Rehagen. 2005. “Sudanese Refugee Youth in Foster Care: The ‘Lost Boys’ in America.” Child Welfare 84 (5): 631–48.

Authors: Laura Bates, Diane Baird, Deborah Johnson, Robert E. Lee, Tom Luster, Christine Rehagen


This study examined the resettlement experiences of unaccompanied Sudanese refugee youth placed in foster care from the perspectives of the youth, foster parents, and agency caseworkers. Youth experienced considerable success. The challenges of adjusting to school and family life, however, suggest a need for funding to support more intensive educational services, more cultural training and support for foster parents and school personnel, and flexibility to provide services in more culturally appropriate modalities.

Topics: Age, Youth, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Gender, Boys, Households, Humanitarian Assistance, Context-Appropriate Response to Trauma Regions: Africa, East Africa, Americas, North America Countries: Sudan, United States of America

Year: 2005

Child Soldiers: Understanding The Context


Somasundaram, Daya. 2002. “Child Soldiers: Understanding The Context.” British Medical Journal 324 (7348): 1268–71.

Author: Daya Somasundaram


This article analyzes the reasons why children join – or are forced to join – armies. The author posits that if we are to prevent children fighting in wars, we need to understand the conditions under which children become soldiers. By understanding these conditions, organizations, societies and other invested parties will be able to improve them and thus prevent children becoming soldiers.

The author finds that the reasons why children become soldiers can be categorized into ‘push and pull’ factors, a categorization system which has also been used by the International Labour Organization.

According to the author, the only way to reduce the phenomenon of child soldiers is to improve the push and pull factors: institutional violence, traumatization (push factors) and disillusionment, entrapment, curiosity (pull factors). (Save the Children)

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Girls, Boys, Health, Trauma, Violence

Year: 2002

Child Soldiers in Africa: A Disaster for Future Families


Skinner, Elliott P. 1999. “Child Soldiers in Africa: A Disaster for Future Families.” International Journal on World Peace 16 (2): 7–22.

Author: Elliott P. Skinner


In the African civil wars of the last twenty years, an increasing number of combatants are as young as 8 or 10, with girl fighters increasingly common. Once inducted into the army it is difficult to reintegrate youth into society. In Sierra Leone, some youngsters were radicalized politically, finding little difference between the merits of democracy and the evils of militarism. Many of these children will be unable to raise viable families or lead viable societies. Human Rights Watch advocates a minimum age of eighteen for involvement in armed conflict of any kind. It seeks to have governments immediately release children to their families, or if they cannot be found, to appropriate alternative care that takes into account the needs of young people.

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Girls, Boys, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 1999

Military Patrimonialism and Child Soldier Clientalism in the Liberian and Sierra Leonean Civil Wars


Murphy, William P. 2003. “Military Patrimonialism and Child Soldier Clientalism in the Liberian and Sierra Leonean Civil Wars.” African Studies Review 46 (2): 61-87.

Author: William P. Murphy


This article uses a Weberian model of patrimonialism to analyze clientalist and "staff" roles of child soldiers in the military regimes of the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone. It thereby examines institutional aspects of child soldier identity and behavior not addressed in other standard models of child soldiers as coerced victims, revolutionary idealists, or delinquent opportunists. It shifts analytical attention from nation-state patrimonialism to the patrimonial dimensions of rebel regimes. It locates child soldiers within a social organization of domination and reciprocity based on violence structured through patronage ties with military commanders. It identifies child soldier "staff" functions within the administration of a patrimonial regime. A Weberian focus on the institutionalization and strategies of domination and dependency provides a corrective to views that exoticize child soldiers, decontextualize their behavior, or essentialize their "youth" as an explanatory principle.

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Girls, Boys, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone

Year: 2003


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