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Title: Precarious temporality : a study of waiting in the UK asylum system
Author: O'Kerry, Emma Rachel
ISNI:       0000 0004 7224 942X
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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The process of claiming asylum can be long and complex, causing people to wait, sometimes for years, for their case to be determined. During this period of waiting, people have few of the same rights as citizens and live under constant fear of destitution, detention and deportation. Despite the recent academic interest in asylum, there has been limited work exploring everyday life during this period and almost no research that specifically looks at women’s experiences (for notable exceptions see Conlon, 2007, 2011a, Raven-Ellison, 2015, Smith, 2015, 2016, 2017). To address this, this thesis takes an in-depth ethnographic approach examining how the processes and practices of the UK asylum system affect the day-to-day lives of women who are seeking asylum. The research not only provides a textured account of women’s lives, but also contributes to debates around temporal power, waiting and precarity. The thesis draws on Pierre Bourdieu’s (2000) ideas around time, temporality and waiting in Pascalian Meditations and Foucault’s understandings of power, especially ideas of governmentality (1991) to consider the temporality and temporal power of this period. It argues the asylum system places people in a precarious temporality, that people modify their behaviour as they wait on a decision but that they do not always wait passively. It makes an intervention into contemporary debates around precarity by developing the idea of precarious temporality and by arguing for a dual approach to the study of lives of ‘precarity’ (in the Butler, 2006, 2009, 2016 sense). As such, the thesis looks at people’s experiences of waiting in the UK asylum system, considering both what produces and maintains people in this precarious temporality and what life is like under the resulting conditions.
Supervisor: Louise, Waite ; Deirdre, Conlon Sponsor: White Rose ; ESRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available