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Forging Associations Across Multiple Spaces: How Somali Kinship Practices Sustain the Existence of the Dadaab Camps in Kenya

  • Fred Nyongesa Ikanda
Chapter
Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)

Abstract

Scholars increasingly have challenged the idea that camps as social worlds can only be visualized in terms of helplessness, immobility, and isolation. Similarly, this contribution demonstrates that Somali kinship practices of scattering family members to simultaneously exploit the potential offered by multiple places generated social networks that helped in sustaining the continued existence of Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya. Drawing on the segmentary lineage logic and on camp-based ethnographic research, it argues that humanitarian policies did not reflect the realities on the ground. The severity of camp conditions inspired Somalis to improvise on kinship to maneuver bureaucratic hurdles, which did not cohere with vulnerability understandings of humanitarianism. Forming and breaking up of groups positively transformed refugees’ lives, though it also institutionalized tensions in social relations.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred Nyongesa Ikanda
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyMaseno UniversityMasenoKenya

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