Loss of Status and the Masculinities: The Case of the Professional Syrian Male Migrants in Turkey

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Discussions on the capitalist reorganization of the work and class relations marked the analysis of the concept of precarity as can be mainly seen in the works of Bourdieu (1998) and Standing (2011). The connotation of the concept has gone beyond the position in the labor market with the feminist researchers’ suggestions for gender lens for the concept. Moreover, the inextricable link between work and masculinities result in emerging literature on masculinities and precarity.Starting from this theoretical intersection of masculinities and precarity, this study focuses on the masculinities of the Syrian men who used to work in professional occupations before migrating to Turkey. Most of the Syrian men who used to hold professional occupations, are not able to continue on their professions and have to work in/search for lower status jobs in which they are neither supposed to use nor have the chance of using their skills and full professional capacity. They, as the new precariat of Turkey, become the targets and the beneficiaries of the social assistance programs conducted by the government and the NGOs. Besides, due to the social stigmatization about Syrian migrants, they are exposed to the fear of violence. The inability of preserving advantageous position in labor market and their social and legal status pushed them into a new negotiation between their masculinities and conditions of new social setting. . Drawing upon on the narratives of the Syrian men who used to be occupied in professional jobs, this study aims at exploring the effect of changing social/legal/economic status on masculinities, gender roles within family and Syrian men’s coping strategy with loss of status in their new social setting.