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Inside Immigration Detention (Paperback)
  • Inside Immigration Detention (Paperback)
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Inside Immigration Detention (Paperback)

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£36.49
Paperback 304 Pages / Published: 18/09/2014
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On any given day nearly 3000 foreign national citizens are detained under immigration powers in UK detention centres alone. Around the world immigrants are routinely detained in similar conditions. The institutions charged with immigrant detention are volatile and contested sites. They are also places about which we know very little. What is their goal? How do they operate? How are they justified? Inside Immigration Detention lifts the lid on the hidden world of migrant detention, presenting the first national study of life in British immigration removal centres. Offering more than just a description of life behind bars of those men and women awaiting deportation, it uses staff and detainee testimonies to revisit key assumptions about state power and the legacies of colonialism under conditions of globalization. Based on fieldwork conducted in six immigration removal centres (IRCs) between 2009 and 2012, it draws together a large amount of empirical data including: detainee surveys and interviews, staff interviews, observation, and detailed field notes. From this, the book explores how immigration removal centres identify their inhabitants as strangers, constructing them as unfamiliar, ambiguous and uncertain. In this endeavour, the establishments are greatly assisted by their resemblance to prisons and by familiar racialized narratives about foreigners and nationality. However, as staff and detainee testimonies reveal, in their interactions and day-to-day life women and men find many points of commonality. Such recognition of one another reveals the goal and effect of detention to be incomplete. Denial requires effort. In order to minimize the effort it must expend, the state 'governs at distance', via the contract. It also splits itself in two, deploying some immigration staff onsite, while keeping the actual decision-makers (the caseworkers) elsewhere, sequestered from the potentially destabilizing effects of facing up to those whom they wish to remove. Such distancing, while bureaucratically effective, contributes to the uncertainty of daily life in detention, and is often the source of considerable criticism and unease. Denial and familiarity are embodied and localized activities, whose pains and contradictions inhere in concrete relationships.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198722571
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 458 g
Dimensions: 233 x 159 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This book is not only a must read for undergraduate and postgraduate students with an interest in migration and detention, but also for policy-makers responsible for redressing the current imbalance between confinement, autonomy and opportunities for self-realisation. * Liam Fenn, Sociology *
One of the (many) merits of this book is that it persuasively demonstrates that big theories and grand concepts break down under ethnographic scrutiny. * Paul Mutsaers, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books *
Inside Immigration Detention challenges many assumptions that underpin migration policy and deserves a wide readership. * Times Higher Education *
Immigration detention has become an enlarged and permanent feature of the carceral landscape. Mary Bosworth's work provides the most extensive account yet of the inner life of removal centres. Her research sensitively and powerfully explores the critical issues for detainees, administrators, policy makers, and academics. This is an essential book for all those with an interest in migration and detention. * Dr. Jamie Bennett, Governor of HMP Grendon & Springhill and formerly Cantre Manager of IRC Morton Hall *
The book is rich in detail about the multi-layered real lives of detainees. It is both academically rigorous and moving, and makes an important contribution to our understanding of the complex stories behind immigration detention. * Hindpal Singh Bhui, Inspection Team Leader, HM Inspectorate of Prisons *
Written with honesty, humanity and passion, this moving and detailed account of life in immigration detention is based on sustained immersion and painstaking research, often conducted in several languages. It is revealing, and in places, heartbreaking. Its key themes- of identity, estrangement, and ambivalence in an area of mass mobility and disputed citizenship- are urgent and profound. Like the detention centres it describes, the book is 'deeply troubling', yet the author succeeds in her challenge of writing an account that is at once vivid, critical, and constructive. * Professor Alison Liebling, University of Cambridge, UK *

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