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Title: An ethnography of deportation from Britain
Author: Hasselberg, Ines
ISNI:       0000 0004 2732 7548
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2013
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In the past decades, immigration policies have been refined to broaden eligibility to deportation and allow easier removal of unwanted foreign nationals. Yet how people respond to a given set of policies cannot be fully anticipated. Studying the ways people interpret, understand and experience policies allows for a better understanding of how they work in practice. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in London, this thesis examines experiences of deportation and deportability of migrants convicted of a criminal offence in the UK. It finds that migrants' deportability is experienced in relation to official bodies, such as the Home Office, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, Immigration Removal Centres and Reporting Centres, and becomes embedded in their daily lives, social relations and sense of self. The lived experience of deportation policies emphasizes the material and human costs associated with deportation and highlights its punitive and coercive effects. Deportability marks migrants' lives with chronic waiting and anxiety. As a result, migrants awaiting deportation make use of four coping strategies: enduring uncertainty, absenting and forming personal cues (Ågård & Harder 2007), and also re-imagining their futures. In turn, migrants' understandings of their own removal appear incompatible with open political action and with the broader work of Anti-Deportation Campaign support groups. Resistance is thus enacted as compliance with state controls (such as surveillance and immobility), which are perceived as designed to make them fail, rendering them ever more deportable. By enduring this power over them, migrants are resisting their removal and fighting to stay. The thesis concludes that the interruption of migrants' existence in the UK is effected long before their actual removal from the territory. It is a process developing from the embodiment of their deportability as their present and future lives become suspended by the threat of expulsion from their residence of choice
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available