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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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Ambivalence and estrangement in detention

Ambivalence and estrangement in detention

(p.186) 7 Ambivalence and estrangement in detention
Inside Immigration Detention

Mary Bosworth

Oxford University Press

This chapter revisits the questions with which this study opened. What are IRCs for? How can we understand them? On what basis might we appraise their success? How can we determine their failings? Concentrating on staff accounts, this chapter examines how staff manage and make sense of violence and self-harm, children, and long-term residents in detention. Through close examination of their testimonies, the chapter identifies considerable staff ambivalence about such matters. On each count, staff acknowledge and then deny the pains and suffering they witness. The difficulties that many have in reconciling themselves to their tasks, the chapter suggests, flow from the shared humanity they recognize among those they confine.

Keywords:   ambivalence, estrangement, identity, immigration detention, detainees, officers, denial

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