“The Only Thing they have to Bargain with is their own Self”: masculinity and protesting immigration detention

Julie Browning


This paper explores questions around masculinity and immigration detention. It suggests that masculinity constitutes a dimension present in both the rationale for incarcerating unauthorised asylum seekers and in practices of resistance against their incarceration.
In modern Australia, the enclosed spaces of immigration detention are sites of bitter struggle. Brutality permeates the detention space and all detainees are vulnerable to its permutations, but men are the principal targets of the detention regime and are typically the primary instigators of mass demonstrations.
Group protests are a response to the constraining system of incarceration and seek particular resolution. In this masculine space a form of male resistance has publicised the devastation of detention.

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