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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Global Products, Embedded Contexts: The Interpretation of Consumption Practices Among Palestinian Migrants in Amman


Amid the frenzied consumption of villas, clothing, technology, and services characteristic of up-scale living in Amman, the most conspicuous of the conspicuous consumers are popularly identified as wealthy Palestinians who entered Jordan in the aftermath of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. This presentation will focus on these “returnees” to Jordan – some of whom had never lived in Jordan prior to the invasion – and more specifically, the relationships among their consumption practices, conflicting notions of taste among Amman’s elites, and the emergence of a “Gulfie” Palestinian identity. Despite the global aspects of elite Palestinian returnee consumption, a convincing interpretation of its sociocultural importance must make reference to factors embedded in social, political, and economic contexts unique to the Jordanian experience.

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