The aim of my dissertation is to explore the experience of extended exile and encampment aslived by the inhabitants of Al-Am‘ari, a quasi-permanent Palestinian refugee city-camp locatedin the West Bank. Specifically, I analyze the condition of double exclusion understood, afterMichel Agier, to stem from (1) refugees leaving behind their social and material worlds of originor inhabitation; and (2) their unique position within the new environments as newcomers, whosepresence the host population expects to be temporary. In the course of extended exile the initialcondition of double exclusion is subject to change. I am therefore interested in Al-Am‘arians’efforts to challenge the exclusion from places of origin and to retain links with the pre-exilicpast, as well as in the processes, events and practices through which the social boundariesseparating the camp from the neighboring towns have been re-negotiated. Contrary to what hasbeen a dominant focus of research in studies on refugees, namely mass displacement in ruralareas, quasi-permanent refugee city-camps are critical sites for investigating and redefiningdisplacement and emplacement alike. I aim to contribute to the literature by exploring how a newsocial entity, Al-Am‘ari camp, emerged within the context of double exclusion. The commonlyused model of refugee integration assumes that refugees’ adaptation to life in exile is inextricablylinked to a gradually loosening attachment to their places of origin and their commitment toreturn. My findings challenge this model: instead, I discuss how Al-Am‘arians’ longing anddedication to the places of origin have become an integral part of their contemporary identities.While most studies deal with the geopolitical dimension of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, myfocus is on Al-Am‘arians’ daily lives analyzed at individual, family and community levels. Thedissertation is based on eight months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Al-Am‘ari camp atintervals between January 2010 and August 2012. In the course of fieldwork I conducted fiftyone in-depth interviews, carried out participant observation on a daily basis and gathered visual,textual and statistical data.
The main aim of the thesis is to explain the role of social capital in the health practices of mothers in rural Ethiopia. To reduce high maternal mortality, the Ethiopian government has implemented a range of policies to expand medical services and empower women to better manage their health. National policymakers have organized female social networks to function alongside traditional ties in the communities. Despite the rich and diverse landscape of local social organizations, little is known about their links with developmental health policies. Applying Bourdieu’s definition of social capital, I addressed three research questions concerning (1) the forms and factors of women's creation of social networks (2) the links between social capital and health, and (3) the broader environment affecting care-seeking and the position of health workers. Using the case of a rural community in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (SNNPR), I conducted 50 interviews with ordinary women and policy stakeholders, and analyzed longitudinal data about the community, which was complemented by desk research and field observations. The results indicate that overlapping bottom-up and state-inspired social networks educate women and provide them with material, spiritual, and psychological support, but also control their maternal health practices. Institutional norms, gender, and material situation condition networking opportunities. The state’s effort to transform traditional habits regarding pregnancy and delivery in the name of modernization is hampered by structural factors that prevent women from accessing biomedical health care. Consequently, although state-led pressure utilizing local social capital contributes to better maternal health, it also reproduces gender inequalities and may, unintentionally, draw attention away from the circumstances in which Ethiopian women live.