'Illegal' Traveller: An Auto-Ethnography of Borders

Overview

Based on fieldwork among undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers, 'Illegal' Traveller offers a narrative of the polysemic nature of borders, border politics, and rituals and performances of border-crossing. Interjecting personal experiences into ethnographic writing it is 'a form of self-narrative that places the self within a social context'.

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Overview

Based on fieldwork among undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers, 'Illegal' Traveller offers a narrative of the polysemic nature of borders, border politics, and rituals and performances of border-crossing. Interjecting personal experiences into ethnographic writing it is 'a form of self-narrative that places the self within a social context'.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The little-seen and personal perspective that is presented in 'Illegal' Traveller not only offers new empirical insights on human smuggling as a process, but also addresses the emotional aspects of the process of 'illegal' migration which hardly ever emerge in academic writing...'Illegal' Traveller with its particular perspective on smugglers, which goes beyond state-defined categories of who and what is defined to be criminal, is a welcome contribution to the debate about 'illegal' migration from a side of the story that is too often ignored, but in need of telling." — Ilse van Liempt, Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Urban Geography at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
 
"A remarkable, concrete account of the uncertain passage of a refugee across many borders, of the networks of entrepreneurs and clients forming around such migration, and of the harsh material and organizational environments encountered along the way. But as a thoughtful scholar, Shahram also interweaves his personal story with comparative references to relevant academic studies, as well as to philosophical and literary works (Arendt, Benjamin, Kafka). Here, then, is someone who has experienced the entire terror of being a solitary, vulnerable refugee, and has thereafter become our eloquent professional colleague, as well as a committed advocate…If you have an interest in the situation of refugees, and what it means to be one, I would think this is a book you should know about." — Ulf Hannerz, Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropoligy, Stockholm University, Sweden
 
"Shahram Khosravi's new book, 'Illegal' Traveller is really powerful and rich. One of the gems for me is the way the author clarifies the networks of migration from several perspectives. There are so many facets: the loneliness of making one's way alone and defenseless except for trying to keep one's wits; the political economies of the networks of smuggling at the lower levels; the human rights indignities of being stateless and vulnerable to rape, violence, extortion, and disappointment; and the ways in which small time smugglers also are liable to bankruptcy and inability always to calculate the margins....  The minority experiences with the resonances that are invoked from Kafka, Benjamin, and the comparative references from the southern border of the U.S. (migrants from Mexico and Central America) as well as the borders around Fortress Europe make the book a cartography of the contemporary world, one that is only gradually being taken seriously by analysts as something quite other than an aberration."— Michael M. J. Fischer, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities, Professor of Anthropology and Science and Technology Studies, MIT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230336742
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/27/2011
  • Series: Global Ethics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

SHAHRAM KHOSRAVI is Associate Professor in the Department of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University, Sweden. He is the author of Young and Defiant in Tehran.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Accustomed Soil
Border Guards and Border People
The Community of Displacement
The Invisible Border
Homelessness
We Borders
Conclusion

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