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"Disturbing practices":dehumanizing asylum seekers in the refugee "Crisis" in Australia, 2001-2002

Leach, Michael 2003, "Disturbing practices":dehumanizing asylum seekers in the refugee "Crisis" in Australia, 2001-2002, Refuge, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 25-33.

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Title "Disturbing practices":dehumanizing asylum seekers in the refugee "Crisis" in Australia, 2001-2002
Author(s) Leach, Michael
Journal name Refuge
Volume number 21
Issue number 3
Start page 25
End page 33
Publisher York University, Center for Refugee Studies
Place of publication Toronto, Canada
Publication date 2003-05
ISSN 0229-5113
0229-5121
Summary Throughout late 2001 and 2002, the Australian Government, seeking re-election, campaigned on a tough line against so-called "illegal" immigrants. Represented as "queue jumpers," "boat people," and "illegals," most of these asylum seekers came from Middle Eastern countries, and, in the main, from Afghanistan and Iraq. This paper explores the way particular representations of cultural difference were entwined in media and government attacks upon asylum seekers. In particular, it analyzes the way key government figures articulated a negative understanding of asylum seekers' family units--representing these as "foreign" or "other" to contemporary Australian standards of decency and parental responsibility. This representational regime also drew upon post-September 11 representations of Middle Eastern people, and was employed to call into question the validity of asylum-seekers' claims for refugee status. Manufactured primarily through the now notorious "children overboard" incident, these images became a central motif of the 2001 election campaign. This paper concludes by examining the way these representations of refugees as "undeserving" were paralleled by new Temporary Protection Visa regulations in Australia.
Language eng
Field of Research 160601 Australian Government and Politics
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2003, York University, Center for Refugee Studies
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30002262

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Social and International Studies
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.