Techniques of Legitimation: The Narrative Construction of Legitimacy Among Immigration Detention Officers

18 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2016

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

In many countries, immigrating detention is a controversial issue. Immigration detention centres are frequently seen as concrete symbols of the most problematic side of state immigration control. Immigration detention is often seen as illegitimate by external (immigration law activists) and internal (detainees) critics. Detention centres, in short, frequently operate with a significant legitimacy deficit. This deficit creates problems for detention centre officers who want to feel good about themselves and the work they do. The professional role of the immigration detention officer can be personally challenging and emotionally demanding. Detention centre officers need to address the legitimacy deficit and somehow reconstruct themselves and the institution they work in as legitimate. This paper describes the narrative self-legitimation work that goes on when detention centre officers at the Police Aliens Holding Centre at Trandum, Norway share stories over lunch or a cup of coffee.

Keywords: Canteen culture, immigration detention, legitimacy, narrative criminology, techniques of legitimation

Suggested Citation

Ugelvik, Thomas, Techniques of Legitimation: The Narrative Construction of Legitimacy Among Immigration Detention Officers (2016). Crime Media Culture, Vol. 12(2) 215–232, Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship Research Paper No. 2874290, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2874290

Thomas Ugelvik (Contact Author)

University of Oslo ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavs plass
Oslo, N-0317
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://www.jus.uio.no/ikrs/personer/vit/thomawis/index.html

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