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'Asylum shopping' in the neoliberal social imaginary

Moore, Kerry ORCID: 2013. 'Asylum shopping' in the neoliberal social imaginary. Media, Culture & Society 35 (3) , pp. 348-365. 10.1177/0163443712472090

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This article critically explores the construction and discursive role of ‘asylum shopping’ in the cultural politics of asylum in the UK. Despite the unusual combination of a concept predominantly associated with consumerism with one largely associated with human rights or sanctuary, the expression ‘asylum shopping’ has featured in the mainstream news media and political discourse surrounding asylum and refugee issues since the early 1990s. Drawing upon cultural studies theory, post-Marxist discourse theory and critical discourse analysis, the article argues that the naturalisation of this term has been conditioned by the operation of powerful logics underpinning fundamental insecurities in the identity of the national and neoliberal subject – logics associated with Britain’s postcoloniality on the one hand and its neoliberal modernity on the other. While the erosion of collective models of solidarity in favour of entrepreneurialism of the self have provided conditions of possibility for an overwhelmingly negative asylum discourse, outrage at asylum seekers’ perceived agency and choice of destination encoded in the notion of ‘asylum shopping’ have been indexed to nostalgic longings for a more secure national or social identity, as well as deep-seated fears and uncertainties about future prospects in the neoliberal subject.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Uncontrolled Keywords: 'asylum shopping'; British newspapers; British politics; critical discourse analysis; discourse theory; neoliberalism
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0163-4437
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2023 02:37

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