WRITING ON TENTS AND CARAVANS IN AL-ZAATARI SYRIAN REFUGEE CAMP OF MAFRAQ, JORDAN: A SOCIOLINGUISTIC ANALYSIS

Main Article Content

Dr. Omar Abdullah Al-Haj Eid

Keywords

sociolinguistic function, graffiti, messages, refugee camp, tents, caravans

Abstract

Purpose: This study aims to investigate the sociolinguistic functions expressed by the written messages on the tents and caravans' surfaces in Al-Zaatari Refugee Camp of Mafraq, Jordan from a sociolinguistic perspective. The study also attempts to find out the relationship between patriotism and graffiti writing in the refugee camp of Mafraq, particularly how the young male refugees practice graffiti writing to express their sense of patriotism towards their homeland, Syria.


Methodology: To achieve the study objective, the researcher collected a set of (144) messages written on the tents and caravans' surfaces of the camp. Content analysis and semi-structured interviews were conducted. The data has been carefully analyzed, classified regarding the sociolinguistic messages and in-depth discussed. A graffiti analysis can be an important means of understanding the linguistic, cultural and social milieu of a community.


Main Findings: The study concludes that graffiti writing on the camp's tents and caravans is functional and a universal phenomenon reflecting ideology. The sociolinguistic function of expressing patriotism and homesickness towards Syria ranked first with a percentage of (80.7%). Tagging is mainly the most common form of graffiti writing and sometimes coupled with drawings. The word Syria is frequently used on most conceivable surfaces of the camp indicating patriotism and longing to their homeland. digs deep into the values and norms of the Jordanian society. To reveal the cultural specificity of such a social, psychological and linguistic phenomenon.


Implications of this study: This paper contributes to the study of sociolinguistics by examining the use of language in the community, norms, and values of the society. It also contributes to other linguistic disciplines such as socio-pragmatics, discourse analysis, and stylistics by analyzing peoples’ writing on several surfaces.


Novelty: No studies were conducted on writing on tents and caravans of Al-Zaatari Syrian Refugee Camp of Mafraq even though this widespread phenomenon outspreads the surfaces of the camp. This study thus attempts to fill this gap in sociolinguistics.

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