"This is not my place" - Male Syrian Refugees Negotiating Their National Identity
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AbstractThis thesis investigates how the civil war in Syria and flight to Sweden has affected male Syrian refugees’ national identity. I conducted individual interviews with 10 informants, a focus group with 4 informants and participant observation at a café. In this thesis, national identity is defined as a part of an individual’s personal identity and consists of a person’s sense of belonging to a specific nation and experiences of sharing different unique attributes with other members of the same nation that makes them distinct from other nations. The pre-war Syrian national identity for my informants was formed by autocracy under Hafiz al-Assad and secular changes under Bashar al-Assad. It was also marked by Pan-Arabism, in the sense of tolerance of differences between ethnic and religious groups, who all were understood as being Syrians and Arabs. <br /> <br /> I used the concepts of national identity and liminality to analyze my data. My informants’ national identity has remained Syrian because of their wish to return to the Syrian homeland. It has also become weaker in its Pan-Arabism with an increased separation and distrust between different social groups in Syria as well as in exile. Syrian identity has also gotten some negative connotations because of my informants’ understandings of and emotional responses to political developments and events during the civil war.