An Attempt to Understand the Crisis in Masculinities of Poor Syrian Refugee Men in Ankara, Turkey

Mozafari S., Ünal Reşitoğlu H.

15th Conference of the European Sociological Association, “Sociological Knowledges for Alternative Futures” , Barcelona, Spain, 31 August - 03 September 2021, pp.1

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Barcelona
  • Country: Spain
  • Page Numbers: pp.1


Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University, Turkey In recent years, migration studies have started to focus on the transformation or crisis effects of forced migration on masculinity. Particularly, there is still a need for deep understanding of the transformations or crises that refugee men experience in their masculinity. Therefore, this research aims to understand the impact of such conditions as the war, the migration and being urban poor on masculinities of Syrian refugee men living in lower class districts in Ankara, Turkey, one of the biggest host countries for diverse migrant groups, particularly Syrians. The method of the study consists of qualitative research techniques such conducting in-depth semi-structured interviews with 17 Syrian men as well as doing observations in their homes where interviews took place. The findings indicated that devastating life conditions such as poverty, unemployment, social exclusion, ethnic discrimination have caused Syrian refugee men to question their masculinity. Many of them concern about whether they can fill the breadwinning father image in this new country. Accordingly, the crisis of masculinity differs with regard to the factors such as generation, religiousness, city of origin in Syria. For instance, older men are able to fill the gap coming from masculinity crisis by means of interiorized patriarchal culture and discriminative religion values. Based on our observation, it can be said that masculinity crisis manifests itself in different ways, such as the spatial design of homes, bodily performance, discourses and attitudes toward women and children. The crying of a participant who has been laid off due to pandemic is a sign of fractured masculinity. Key Words: Syrian Men, Forced Migration, Urban Poor, Crisis in Masculinities