Culture and identity construction among Palestinian refugees in Jordan
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- Institutt for geografi 
This thesis explores the different dimensions of Palestinian identity and the characteristics of social processes related to place. The Palestinian population has faced several waves of mass displacement, especially since 1948 with the creation of the State of Israel. The Israel-Palestine conflict led to the expansion of one of the largest diasporas in the world among Palestinian refugees. My research questions concern issues of cultural practices experienced in host countries such as Jordan, the impact of host societies' context on culture, and whether Palestinian identity is encountered as a resource or constraint in this setting. The key concepts that I will deal with are culture, identity, place and belonging. I intend to present some insights from social and cultural geography, through processes of inclusion and exclusion, extended to notions of home and homeland. I will look at the impact of discourses and narratives, as well as the political aspects of places related to resistance movements, which underline power relations between host and refugee communities. The informants' experiences of Palestinian identity constitute data from my fieldwork in refugee camps in North Jordan. Situating my analysis within a theoretical and legal framework against a historical backdrop, which highlights the context of the study area, I will discuss the particular aspects of Palestinian identity construction and its different forms of expression through cultural practices in daily life and the social processes involved. I will then focus on Palestinian identity regarding its role as an asset or constraint in the context of host countries and in camps, especially in relation to the Jordanian legal framework and the impact of humanitarian assistance from the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine. This thesis invites a discussion around forms of interactions between place and identity in a context of forced displacement, drawing from the case of Palestinian refugees in Jordan. My study demonstrates the importance of the identity phenomenon for displaced persons and its impacts on inclusion, exclusion or marginalization processes. I will also emphasize repercussions at different levels of analysis, from local to structural and governmental. This stresses important challenges related to complex emergencies in humanitarianism and development studies.