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Young people on asylum seekers: the ‘dirty work of boundary making’ in the politics of belonging
chapterposted on 2018-06-01, 00:00 authored by Christine Halse, Ros BlackRos Black, Claire CharlesClaire Charles
This chapter examines how primary and secondary students construct asylum seekers. Invoking racialised political and media rhetoric, some students cast asylum seekers as strangers, undesirable citizens and a threat to the nation’s values and structures. Others argue that asylum seekers are ‘ordinary people’ who warrant the nation’s compassion and care. A third group struggles to navigate the binary of inclusion/exclusion but ends up reasserting the logic and methods of Britain’s invasion of Indigenous Australia. They advocate ‘caring’ for asylum seekers in purpose-built, model towns in geographically remote, unoccupied lands (terra nullius) where they will be ‘separated from us’ but ‘still live in Australia’. The analysis reveals that even young people are active participants in the racialised politics of belonging and the 'dirty work of boundary making'.