Locating young refugees historically: Attending to age position in humanitarianism

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Nowadays humanitarian organisations are often keen to engage young displaced people in programmatic efforts. In such efforts attention is commonly paid to the impact of the social dynamics of gender. However, similar consideration of processes associated with age has been less apparent. This article explains the importance of attending to the ‘age position’ of young refugees from two interrelated perspectives: first, as a means to comprehend the forces that inform the expression of particular needs and aspirations by young people, and second, in order to grasp the historicity of their lives and of the larger displaced population. The article then moves on to offer a conceptual framework for investigating age position. The notion of ‘generation’ is central to this framework. Four distinct meanings of generation are identified and their application explored through reference to findings from research conducted in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-232
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of Development Research
Issue number2
Early online date30 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2014


  • Refugees, Children, History, Generations, Palestine, Humanitarianism.


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