Zemiology at the Border

Canning, Victoria (2018). Zemiology at the Border. In: Boukli, Avi (Paraskevi) and Kotze, Justin eds. Zemiology: reconnecting crime and social harm. Palgrave, pp. 183–201.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76312-5_10


Considering the global proliferation of the criminalisation of immigrants, it is unsurprising that criminological contributions to the study of borders have been expanding at a prolific rate. Academics and researchers from around the globe have levelled severe criticism of practices such as deportation, detention and arbitrary imprisonment. Indeed, this has been an interesting development to observe in a discipline which is often highly administrative.

Significant though this is, the reality of more banal and grinding aspects of seeking asylum which are not necessarily linked to criminalisation - enforced welfare dependency, inadequate housing, violent relationships – often go unseen or under-focussed. Drawing from empirical research in Britain and reflecting on activist participation with women seeking asylum, this chapter argues for a zemiology at the border to centralise the concerns of people seeking sanctuary, and to document the everyday harms of asylum so that they might be mitigated or ultimately eradicated.

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