Synopses & Reviews
Race, Gender and the Body in British Immigration Control provides the most detailed account of the virginity testing controversy in the late 1970s, and demonstrates that this abusive practice, which was endured by South Asian women for more than a decade, was part of a wider culture of mistreatment and discrimination that occurred within the immigration system authorized by the state. Using recently opened government documents, Smith and Marmo offer a unique insight into this matter and uncover the extent to which these women were scrutinized, interrogated and subject to physical examination at the border. Combining cutting-edge criminological theory and historical research, this book proposes that the contemporary British immigration control system should be viewed as an attempt to replicate colonial hierarchies upon migrants in the post-imperial era. For this reason, the abuses of human rights at the border became a secondary issue to the need of the post-imperial British nation-state to enforce strict immigration controls.
About the Author
Evan Smith is Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of International Studies at Flinders University, Australia. He has written widely on the British immigration control system, the politics of race in Britain and the British far left.
Marinella Marmo is Associate Professor in Criminology at Flinders University Law School, Australia. Her research interests include international criminal justice, transnational crime and comparative criminology.
Table of Contents
1. Decolonisation and the Creation of the British Immigration Control System
2. The Border as a Filter: Maintaining the Divide in the Post-Imperial Era
3. Reorienting the South Asian Female Body: the Practice of 'Virginity Testing' and the Treatment of Migrant Women
4. Deny, Normalise and Obfuscate: the Government Response to the Virginity Testing Practice and Other Physical Abuses
5. The Postcolonial World Stage: Immigration and Britain's International Reputation
6. Discrimination by other Means: Further Restrictions on Migrant Women and Children under the Conservatives