This thesis is about identity clashes during the first two years of the Syrian uprising (from 15th of March 2011 to 15th of March 2013). Chiefly, it attempts to answer the following questions: what roles do identities play in the construction of power among the various identity groups? What were the reasons for the identity clashes that occurred during the Syrian uprising?. How can we evaluate the reproduction of identity during the uprising?. The Alawite, Sunni, Kurdish and Syrian national identities are used to illustrate how in the course of the uprising, these identities were consistently being reproduced as each group vied for power. This thesis argues that during the Syrian uprising these identities were subject to an enduring process of reproduction and reinforcement by discourse directed from above and from below, in which symbolic and materialistic elements played a vital role. The mode of analysis for this thesis is framed by the modernist and symbolist approaches to theories of nationalism and is underpinned by the theory of communal violence.
Thesis, MPhil Master of Philosophy
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