Crossing Borders of Geography and Self: South Sudanese Refugee Youth Gangs in Egypt
Refugees occupy an ambiguous position in contemporary nation-states. From a normative standpoint, their experience is defined by persecution and the crossing of national borders. The disruption of place-based notions of identity — of settling in a new place without belonging to it — associated with forced displacement often leads to a sense of permanent transience. Encounters with difference, dissonance, and exclusion are counterpoised by a search for new identity, social acceptance and belonging. The salience of these issues is particularly acute for refugee youth, whose social memberships are multiple and evolving and, as this chapter will illustrate, frequently contestive, and oppositional. Gang affiliation, while often associated with transgressive and even violent behaviour, must also be understood as an effort to respond to the many ruptures and transformations of anchors of belonging experienced by young refugees.
KeywordsGang Member Gang Membership Refugee Child Refugee Youth Refugee Experience
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