How Is Jordan Dealing with All the Different Groupings of Refugees? Shifting Figurations of Migrants and Longtime Residents in Amman.

Friday, 20 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Hendrik HINRICHSEN, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany
Since the 1940s, Jordan has coped with the immigration of vast numbers of refugees during different phases of regional history. As a result of the war in Syria, Jordan is currently again having to manage the entry of a large number of refugees. Jordan is often considered as an example of relatively successful ‘integration’ or management of large-scale immigration. Taking this notion as a starting point for my argumentation, I will ask – from the perspective of biographical research and figurational sociology – in what ways the relations between different groupings of refugees and longtime residents are changing due to recent dynamics of immigration in Jordan. Focusing on the urban setting of Amman, I will show how images of belonging, patterns of interpretation and experienced life histories of the city’s residents are shaped by processes of migration and shifting power balances between different groupings of migrants and longtime residents. In my presentation, I analyse how biographical trajectories are embedded in family and collective histories, in order to be able to shed light on the intertwinement of people’s we-images and senses of belonging and their figurational positioning. The preliminary findings discussed in the presentation are based on biographical-narrative interviews and participant observations conducted in Amman within the framework of an on-going DFG-funded research project at the University of Goettingen (Germany).