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Troubling MotherhoodMaternality in Global Politics$
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Lucy B. Hall, Anna L. Weissman, and Laura J. Shepherd

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190939182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190939182.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 June 2021

Logics of Protection and the Discursive Construction of Refugee Fathers

Logics of Protection and the Discursive Construction of Refugee Fathers

(p.67) Chapter 5 Logics of Protection and the Discursive Construction of Refugee Fathers
Troubling Motherhood

Lucy B. Hall

Oxford University Press

Images of war-affected populations generally affirm the gendered war story that the majority of civilians and refugees are “womenandchildren.” The “womenandchildren” discourse remains prominent in constituting humanitarian protection norms that (re)produce the gendered distinction. Western European discourses concerning refugee masculinity posit two narratives—refugee men as potential terrorists and/or rapists and refugee men as caring, paternal saviors. This chapter explores the latter, questioning whether discourses that construct refugee men as caregivers and saviors are a departure from the “womenandchildren” narrative so dominant in gendered war stories. Accordingly, the chapter argues that the discursive construction of refugee masculinities reproduces the heteronormative family and is an intrinsic feature of the gendered war story of refugee men. In conclusion, the author suggests that this narrative of “refugee father” presents a partial disruption to the discursive construction of the “ideal victim(s)” (women, children, and the elderly). The disruption from the “ideal victim” image is, however, only partial, because images of refugee men as fathers remain intelligible through troubling logics of gender, race, and sexuality.

Keywords:   masculinities, gender, refugees, protection, intersectionality

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