Structural determinants of GBV against refugee youth: Advancing critical theoretical perspectives


  • Negar Alamdar York University



integration, dislocation, gender-based violence, refugee youth


The scholarship on gender-based violence (GBV) against refugee youth has succeeded in highlighting the significance of micro social psychological or situational analyses. Missing, however, are analyses that incorporate structural approaches, especially as informed by critical feminist and critical race theories. This review not only suggests ways in which structural analyses may proceed by further recommending the conceptual utility of integration and dislocation as key concepts in refugee studies, GBV and analyses of youth. These concepts mediate the relationships between two fundamental and prevailing units in the social theorizing – micro and macro-analyses. By incorporating more holistic, relational and critical foci regarding systems of domination (misogyny, racism, youth discrimination, homophobia) within the political economy and culture and their embedded institutions, more systemic and long term remedies are recommended.


Barbulescu, R, & Grugel, J. (2016). Unaccompanied minors, migration control and human rights at the EU's southern border: the role and limits of civil society activism. Migration Studies, 4(2), 253-272. DOI:

Berthold, S. M. (2000). war traumas and community violence. Journal of Multicultural Social Work, 8 (1-2), 15-46. DOI:

Bhabha, J. (2008). Independent children, inconsistent adults: international child migration and the legal framework. Florence, Italy: UNICEF.

Bierwirth, C. (2005). The protection of refugee and asylum-seeking children, the convention on the rights of the child and the work of the committee on the rights of the child. Refugee Survey Quarterly, 24(2), 98-124. DOI:

Bourdieu, P. (2011). Reproduction in education, society, and culture. London, UK: Sage.

Carastathis, A, Kouri-Towe, N, Mahrhouse,G. & Whitley, L. (2018). Introduction: Intersectional Feminist Interventions in the 'refugee crisis'. Refuge, 34(1), 3-15. DOI:

Connell, R. (2011). Gender and social justice: southern perspectives. South African Review of Sociology, 42(3), 103-115. DOI:

Connell, R. (1998). Gender and Power: Society, the Person and Sexual Politics Cambridge. London, UK: Polity Press.

Couto, N & L. Visano (2012). Violated and Silenced. Toronto, ON: APF Publishers.

Crocco, M. S. (2001). The missing discourse about gender and sexuality in the social studies. Theory into Practice, 40(1), 65-71. DOI:

Durkheim, E. (1965). The Rules of the Sociological Method translated. New York, NY: Free Press.

Eichler, M. (l985). "And the Work Never Ends: Feminist Contributions." Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 22, 619-644. DOI:

Ellis, B. H, Miller, A, Heather Baldwin, H., & Abdi, S. (2011). New directions in refugee youth mental health services: overcoming barriers to engagement. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 4(1), 69-85. DOI:

Filler, T. (2018). Addressing Syrian refugee adolescents' mental health and wellbeing: Youth-informed policy implications. International Network on Youth Integration, 9 (1), 12-17.

Fong, R. & Berger Cardoso, J. (2010). Child human trafficking victims: Challenges for the child welfare system. Evaluation and Program Planning, 33(3), 311-316. DOI:

Freedman, J. (2016) Sexual and gender-based violence against refugee women: a hidden aspect of the refugee "crisis". Reproductive Health Matters, 24(47), 18-26. DOI:

Galtung, J. (1990). Cultural violence. Journal of Peace Research, 27(3), 291-305. DOI:

Giddens, A. (1976). New Rules of Sociological Methods. New York, NY: Basic.

Harding, S. (1987). Feminism and methodology: social science issues. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

Harding, S. (1991). Whose science? whose knowledge? thinking from women's lives. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.

Hill-Collins, P. (2000). Black feminist thought: knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. New York, NY: Routledge.

Khanlou N, Bender A, Mill C, Vazquez LM & Rojas L. (2018). Youth experiences of cultural identity and migration: A systems perspective. In S. Pashang, N. Khanlou & J. Clarke (Eds), Today's youth and mental health: Hope, power, and resilience. Advances in Mental Health and Addiction (pp. 57-76). New York, NY: Springer. DOI:

Keohane, N. and B. Gelpi, (1982). Foreword. In N. Keohane, M. Rosaldo & B. Gelpi (Eds.) Feminist theory: a critique of ideology (pp. 2-11). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Keygnaert, I. & Guieu, A. (2015). What the eye does not see: a critical interpretive synthesis of European Union policies addressing sexual violence in vulnerable migrants. Reproductive Health Matters, 23, 46. DOI:

Lems, A., Oester, K. & Strasser, S. (2019) Children of the crisis: ethnographic perspectives on unaccompanied refugee youth in and en route to Europe. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2-17. DOI:

Haideh, M. (1994). Populism and feminism in Iran. New York, NY: St Martin's Press.

Oakley, A. (l981). Interviewing Women: A Contradiction in Terms. In H. Roberts (Ed.), Doing feminist research (pp. 30-61). London: Routledge.

Otto, L. (2020). Children, adults or both? Negotiating adult minors and interests in a state care facility in Malta. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 46(2), 372-388. DOI:

Simpson, S. (1989). Feminist theory, crime and justice. Criminology, 27(4), 605-631. DOI:

Sivan, A. Koch,L., Baier, C. & Adiga, M. (1999). Refugee youth at risk: a quest for rational policy. Children's Services, 2(3), 139-158. DOI:

Totten, D, M. (2000). Guys, gangs and girlfriend abuse. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press. DOI:

High Commissioner for Human Rights. (1989). Convention on the rights of the child. Geneva, Switzerland: United Nations General Assembly.

Van Hear, Nicolas. (1998). New Diasporas: The mass exodus, dispersal and regrouping of migrant communities. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press.

Visano, L. (2015). Dislocation as deracinated subjectivities: a case of refugee youths. In M. Jacobs (ed) From geographical dislocation to social dislocation (pp. 143-179). Toronto: APF Press.

Walby, S. (2005). Gender mainstreaming: productive tensions in theory and practice. State & Society, 12(3),321-343. DOI:

Walby, S. & Towers, J. (2017). Measuring violence to end violence: mainstreaming gender. Journal of Gender-Based Violence, 1(1), 11-31. DOI:




How to Cite

Alamdar, N. (2020). Structural determinants of GBV against refugee youth: Advancing critical theoretical perspectives. INYI Journal, 10(1-2), 15–19.