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Gender relations, transnational ties and rituals amongst Bosnian refugees

Al-Ali, Nadje (2002) 'Gender relations, transnational ties and rituals amongst Bosnian refugees.' Global networks: a journal of transnational affairs, 2 (3). pp. 249-262.

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Abstract

In this article I show how Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) refugees reproduce, contest and construct their ethnic and religious identities. Using `ritual' in a broad sense to refer to everyday routinized activities and practices that characterize family hierarchies and gender relations, as well as more easily identifiable religious rituals, I show that rituals assert belonging to a community and an identity, but are also, in the process of construction and contestation, selectively evoked and ignored. `The Other' constructed through certain rituals is not merely the non-Muslim Bosnian (Serbs and Croats), but also, for refugees, other Bosnian Muslims who stayed behind. Moreover, engagement in secular and religious rituals, and the wider issue of identity constructions cannot be understood fully without exploring the dynamics between refugees and people who have remained in Bosnia. Competing constituencies claiming `Bosnianness' and `Muslimness' can be found across national boundaries and complicate the attempt to construct a community of believers or nationals, or both.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: transnational migration; gender and transnationalism; Bosnia-Hercegovina; Bosnian refugees
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Centre for Gender Studies
ISSN: 14702266
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1111/1471-0374.00040
Depositing User: Nadje Al-Ali
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2008 14:32
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/4866

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