This ethnographic book enhances our understanding of asylum screening, an area of immigration that is often overlooked and remains under-researched. Falsely perceived as a one-dimensional function of static state power, it is here revealed that asylum decisions at borders respond to a complex cultural construction, saturated by a meta-message of disbelief, denial and moral panics. The author demonstrates that immigration officers' work patterns, behavior and decisions are informed by such stereotyping, which has led to asylum narratives being interpreted in the light of concepts of social acceptability and rejection. Establishing a parallel with law enforcement, the author argues that this process replicates a professional world of categorization and control, forged within an autonomous immigration service subculture. This timely work will appeal to students and scholars of migration studies, identity and ethnic studies, social anthropology, sociology, law and policy studies.>
Olga Jubany is Serra Hunter Fellow in the Social Anthropology Department of the Universitat de Barcelona, Spain, and Director of the University's European Social Research Unit. Committed to the anthropological tradition of ethnography, she explores the social world of identity, diversity, and social control, using an intersectional approach to analyse migration, gender, and age constructions.
Foreword; John Solomos; Chapter 1. Asylum Screening from Within.- Chapter 2. Asylum Seeking and the Threatened State.- Chapter 3. Subcultures of Social Control.- Chapter 4. Trained to Spot the Truth.- Chapter 5. Deconstructing asylum seekers' narratives.- Chapter 6. A Subculture of Disbelief.- Chapter 7. Pulling Back the Screen.