Synopses & Reviews
Questions over immigration and asylum face almost all Western countries. Should only economically useful immigrants be allowed? What should be done with unwanted or "illegal" immigrants? In this bold and original intervention, Alexandra Hall shows that immigration detention centers offer a window onto society's broader attitudes towards immigrants.
Despite periodic media scandals, remarkably little has been written about the everyday workings of the grassroots immigration system, or about the people charged with enacting immigration policy at local levels. Detention, particularly, is a hidden side of border politics, despite its growing international importance as a tool of control and security. This book fills the gap admirably, analyzing the everyday encounters between officers and immigrants in detention to explore broad social trends and theoretical concerns.
This highly topical book provides rare insights into the treatment of the "other" and will be essential for policy makers and students studying anthropology and sociology.
"Immigration detention is a huge but little known phenomenon of our era. Border Watch is a rich, thoughtful, fair, and ultimately strong examination of immigration detention centers and guards. The devil is in the details: a saying that genuinely describes what Hall discovers. This book succeeds in linking ethnographic description with major public issues of immigration and power." - Josiah McC. Heyman, Professor of Anthropology and Chair of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Texas, El Paso.
A rethinking of popular political movements, this book looks at new, emerging, mass visions and analyses their impact and potential in new ways.
About the Author
Alexandra Hall is Lecturer in Politics at the Department of Politics, University of York.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Going Inside * 2. Visual Practice and the Secure Regime * 3. Being There: Social Life in the Centre * 4. Compliance and Defiance: Contesting the Regime * 5. Drawing the Line: Discretion and Power * 6. Ethics and Encounters * 7. Conclusion * References * Index