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He must be a man'. Uncovering the gendered vulnerabilities of young Sub-Saharan African men in their journeys to and in Libya

Palillo, M (2022) He must be a man'. Uncovering the gendered vulnerabilities of young Sub-Saharan African men in their journeys to and in Libya. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 48 (9). 2131 - 2147. ISSN 1369-183X

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Identification Number: 10.1080/1369183X.2020.1816813

Abstract

Based on personal narratives collected in Sicily with refugees and asylum seekers, this article aims at uncovering the gendered vulnerabilities of young Sub-Saharan African men transiting to and through Libya. Overall, participants’ narratives construct the journey to Libya as a landscape of gendered opportunities to perform competent manhood. This suggests the existence of a common masculine discourse regulating the interactions among travellers and with smugglers in this arena. Here, the illegal dimension of crossing is presented as a site where participants must prove their ‘value’ as ‘men’. This discourse offers legitimation to dangerous smuggling practices and violence enacted by the illegality industry. Within this rigid understanding of masculinity, migrant men’s vulnerability in Libya can be understood as the product of situated masculine and racial hierarchies; between migrants and smugglers/armed groups and among migrants. These gendered vulnerabilities are exacerbated by conditions of fractured mobility, the situation of travelling alone, the proliferation of weapons associated with the post-Gaddafi scenario and gendered/racialised patterns of incorporation in the Libyan illegal economy. Ultimately, due to this continuum of gendered violence, participants are ‘forced’ to embark on the sea crossing towards European shores.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/journals/cjms20
Additional Information: © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2024 10:24
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 18:15
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/121945

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