Public Seminar Series, Hilary term 2013. Seminar by Melanie Griffiths (COMPAS) recorded on 6 March 2013 at the Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford.
It has been said that refugees are approached through depoliticised and dehistoricised eyes, to which we might add 'ungendered'. This seminar considers gender as an unspoken but critical dimension of the creation and management of the category of failed asylum seeker. Drawing from qualitative research conducted with male failed asylum seekers in the UK, it explores the interplay of gender with asylum protection practices. This will include looking at mechanisms of emasculation, as well as what implications the ideological construct of the 'genuine' refugee has on how those refused protection are imagined. Ethnographic examples are used to explore how individuals negotiate and experience the tension between being demonised and infantilised.