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Inside Immigration Detention$
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Mary Bosworth

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675470

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675470.001.0001

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Uncertainty, identity, and power in detention

Uncertainty, identity, and power in detention

(p.161) 6 Uncertainty, identity, and power in detention
Inside Immigration Detention

Mary Bosworth

Oxford University Press

Drawing on the words of staff and detainees, this chapter explores how both groups cope with the fickle nature of life in detention, and how insecurity shapes their identity and sense of self. While such inconsistencies justify detention and flow from it, the confusion within such places reveals disquiet and dissonance about border control and the exercise of power that it entails. Uncertainty, in other words, is both a means of governance and a potential site of resistance. Bringing criminological literature and feminist theory to bear on first-hand accounts, this chapter begins to assemble a critique of IRCs grounded in the words, experiences, and identities of those within the centres.

Keywords:   uncertainty, identity, power, immigration detention, detention custody officers, detainees, gender, race

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