Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Monica L. Udvardy


My dissertation research was a 14-month ethnographic study of the post-repatriation experience of forced migrants in South Sudan. It was designed to determine if alterations to gender norms and relations that refugees experienced during asylum differed as a function of the asylum environments and if these modifications remained intact upon the refugees’ return. The forced migrants in my sample, the Dinka of Bor from South Sudan, encountered two different asylum environments and experiences: Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya and Khartoum, in northern Sudan. After 10-15 years in asylum, these forced Dinka Bor migrants returned to South Sudan. I compared the pre-flight and post-repatriation behavior of these two groups of returnees to determine to what extent gendered behaviors could be attributed to each asylum location. I found that various global forces encountered during asylum were instrumental in forging new ways of life by changing gendered livelihood practices and gendered access to status, power, and resources after return. In addition, the resettlement context played an equally critical role in the gendered behaviors after return.