War Families and the Iraq Wars

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In this paper, I argue that it is not just that wars impact people’s lives—it is that people live wars and wars are constituted by people living them. It is appropriate to think of war as happening on battlefields and in bedrooms, in command centers and in kitchens, with fighter planes and with soup cans. Using this interpretation of war as everyday experience, this article looks at Iraqi war families—that is, families constituted by and constitutive of the Iraq war(s). It begins with five vignettes that tell some, by necessity, partial, stories of the complexity of families living the war(s). Drawing from those vignettes and aggregated data, the article explores changing demographic, nutritional, and health dynamics of Iraqi families over the successive years of war and conflict in Iraq. The article concludes with a contextualization of war families, and a look forward for families in Iraq’s near future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-265
Number of pages30
JournalHawwa: Journal of Women in the Middle East and Islamic World
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2018


  • women
  • gender
  • family
  • war
  • feminist IR
  • Iraq
  • masculinities
  • femininities

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