“Brotherhood” for Survival: Homosocial Solidarity Networks of Afghan Unaccompanied Young Male Migrants in a Shantytown in Istanbul, Turkey

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 09:30
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Mehmet BOZOK, Maltepe University, Turkey
Nihan BOZOK, Beykent University, Turkey
With the conflicts in Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion in 1978, one of the directions of the fleeing Afghan migrants was Turkey. One of the aspects of the current Afghan migration is the existence of the undocumented migrants. Many of those migrants are young males many of whom are under the age of 18. As a result of this forced migration, the Afghan boys were forced to start to work at earlier ages, as undocumented and informal laborers.

This study investigates the solidarity networks of Afghan unaccompanied young male migrants in Karasu, a shantytown located in Beykoz, Istanbul, where the migrants live in houses composed of males from four to twenty people, grounding on a qualitative field study with 28 young male Afghan migrants conducted in 2015.

Here we present that, young Afghan male migrants develop multi-faceted homosocial solidarity networks for their survival. On the one hand, in order to escape from Afghanistan for migrating to Turkey, find a job and housing, provision their living, and provide security for other Afghans in the neighborhood, they construct patriarchal codes of masculinities. On the other hand, for their social reproduction in the domestic sphere, they practice duties that are attributed to the women in such patriarchal relations. As a result, this study presents that the relations surrounding migration, young male migrants execute social roles as youngsters in their private lives, patriarchal male laborers in the public sphere and gender-role-stretchers in their migrant households for their survival.