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Through a girl’s eyes: Social ontologies of citizen identity among Jordanian and refugee students in Jordan’s double-shift secondary schools

  • Patricia K. KubowEmail author
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Jordan, along with Lebanon, has the greatest influx of Syrian refugees in the world. To address the issue of overcrowding in schools, a double-shift system operates in Jordan, whereby Jordanian students receive schooling in the morning; and Syrian and other refugee students, in the afternoon. The purpose of this article is to examine the social ontological perspectives of 92 Arab female youth (Jordanian and Arab refugee) through analysis of their views on citizen identity and the citizenship discourse promoted in 3 all-girl double-shift secondary schools in Amman. The youths’ ontologies are informed by a complex set of identity markers; namely, nationality, religion, culture, ethnicity (Arabness), gender, and developmental stage (youth). The study reveals that youth ontological security is rooted in Arab heritage, Islamic identity, and the state’s emphasis on preservation of peace over student reactions to contemporary political crises in the Middle East. This empirically grounded, qualitative scholarship serves as a call for more youth studies on citizen identity in the Arab world.


Citizenship Identity Arab refugees Public schools Middle East 



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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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