War, Flight, and Exile

Maja Korac

in Sites of Violence

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780520230729
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937055 | DOI:
War, Flight, and Exile

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This chapter considers the “logic” of the exclusionary politics of ethnic nationalism in the region and the social and political implications of women's forced migration. It evaluates the changes in the roles and social relations of refugee women caused by the gendered violence of war, flight, and exile. The negotiation between women's role as mothers, their love and care for their sons, and their socially constructed role as “Mothers of the Nation” is a recurring theme in the interviews. The data suggest that women of higher socioeconomic status and of ethnically mixed background commonly have a better chance of choosing between their love for their children and their patriotism. It shows that radical changes in gender roles and responsibilities, in conjunction with a constant fear for family members who remain in war zones, contribute to women's difficulties in developing appropriate and successful survival strategies.

Keywords: war; forced migration; exile; gendered violence; refugee women; post-Yugoslav states; ethnic nationalism

Chapter.  11268 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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