Junior Visiting Fellow
(January – June 2010)
Being Palestinian Refugee in Lebanon:
Social Referents, Ritual Tempo
and Belonging in a Christian and a
Muslim Palestinian Refugee Camp
My project draws on a comparative ethnography of a Muslim and a Christian Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, based on 16 months of fieldwork. Life is significantly different in these two camps. Each camp has a very defined and frequent set of public practices and discourses ranging from simple day-to-day social interaction to a specific calendar of events. This is what I refer to as a “ritual tempo” that socializes members of the community into a set of values, practices and behaviors, helping demarcate the boundaries of the community vis-à-vis others, and organize history providing frameworks for understanding the world. The project aims to understand the social dynamics of belonging and identity in refugee camps.