Gender, Home & Identity

October 2014
10 black and white, 2 line illustrations
240 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Eastern Africa Series
Library eBook
James Currey
BISAC POL002000, HIS001000, SOC026030

Gender, Home & Identity

Nuer Repatriation to Southern Sudan

Katarzyna Grabska

eBook for Handhelds
Joint Winner of the Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology 2014

Analyses the experiences of exile and return of Nuer women and men of all ages and how they negotiate and reshape gender identities and relations in the context of prolonged war and violence.

Joint Winner of the Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology 2014

How and where did returning Nuer refugees make their 'homes' in southern Sudan? How were gender relations and identity redefined as a result of war, displacement and return to post-war communities? And how were those displaced able to recreate a sense of home, community and nation?
During the civil wars in southern Sudan (1983-2005) many of the displaced Sudanese, including many Nuer, were in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. In the aftermath of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, they repatriated to southern Sudan. Faced with finding long-lost relatives and local expectations of 'proper behaviour', they often felt displaced again.
This book follows the lives of a group of Nuer in the Greater Upper Nile region. The narratives of those displaced and those who stayed behind reveal the complexity of social change, in particular, the crucial yet relatively unconsidered transformation of gender and generational relations, and how this has impacted on state formation in what is now South Sudan.

Katarzyna Grabska is a research fellow with the Department of Anthropology and Sociology of Development at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. She is co-editor (with Lyla Mehta), of Forced Displacement: Why Rights Matter? (Palgrave: 2008)

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Table of Contents

Returnee Dilemmas: Dangerous Trousers and Threatening Mini-skirts
Jiom - Season of Fighting and Running: Conflict, Mobility and Gender
Mai - Season of Displacement: Becoming "Modern" in Kakuma
Rwil - Season of "Returns"
Season of Settling-in
Tot - Gendered Emplacement: Identities, Ideologies and Marriage
Returnees as Visitors and the Nuer Community: Where do we go from here?


An extremely valuable part of an emerging patchwork of localised (and often ethically-bounded) studies on post-war community reconstruction in South Sudan. SUDAN STUDIES

Makes a timely contribution to the study of post-war reconstruction in South Sudan. ANTHROPOLOGICAL QUARTLEY

This is an empirically rich, multi-sited ethnography... the book contributes substantively to the literature on return migration. JOURNAL OF REFUGEE STUDIES

While Grabska contributes to the academic debate and a global discussion about those who are displaced, humanitarians currently spending millions in South Sudan would also do well to read this book. JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL INSTITUTE

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