Border Control and Irregular Migrant Women: Australia and Italy

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Date(s) - 8 May 2014
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Room N402, Menzies Building 11, Monash University Clayton

Professor Sharon Pickering, Border Crossing Observatory, Monash University

This presentation will focus exclusively on maritime crossings into Australia and Italy, reporting on an international research project on border control, irregular migration and gender. This broader project includes interviews (n=176) and observations at maritime border sites with migrant women and a range of different border and immigration agencies in Australia and Italy. It is specifically focused on those involved in the first point of contact between the state and the unauthorised border crosser. The aim of the project is to develop a large empirical base for examining the micro politics of border control that can contribute to shifting the macro debates over global immigration governance and the criminalisation of irregular migration.

To examine the micro politics of border spaces, qualitative research at the sites considers the very human(e) interactions that occur in an increasingly depersonalised, technologically remote-driven space (see Aas 2011). Moreover it considers the actual and assumed decision making about unauthorised border crossing. The presentation is specifically interested in the enactment of gender at the border in relation to the increasing numbers of women making irregular migration journeys and the competing paradigms of enforcement (masculine) and rescue (feminine) in the identification of undesirable border crossers in the daily operation of borders. In an effort to empirically ground recent theoretical excursions into the geographical margins of the state (cf. Mountz, 2010), this presentation charts the narratives of border control agents who undertake border enforcement as well as unauthorised migrant women.

Sharon Pickering is a Professor of Criminology and Australian Research Council Future Fellow on Border Policing at Monash University in Melbourne Australia. Her books include Sex Work: Labour Mobility and Sexual Services (with Maher and Gerard) (2012); Borders and Crime (with McCulloch) (2012); Gender, Borders and Violence (2010); Sex Trafficking (2009) (with Segrave and Miliovjevic); Counter-Terrorism Policing (2008); Borders, Mobilities and Technologies of Control (2006) (with Weber); Refugees and State Crime (2005). Most recently she co-authored with Leanne Weber Globalization and Borders: Deaths at the Global Frontier which documented and analysed over 40, 000 border related deaths in Europe, North America and Australia. She is currently Head of Social Sciences.

Thursday 8th May 12 – 2 pm, Room N402 (4th Floor, Menzies Building, Monash University Clayton)

RSVP to by Tuesday 6th May

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