Today within neoliberal democracies, gender and sexuality provisions give people the opportunity of being granted social and legal protection. But how does the asylum system intervene within claimants’ understandings of themselves and in what ways does this affect their livelihoods in the country of arrival?
The Sexual Politics of Asylum emerges from a 2 year long ethnography, which explores the experiences of 60 gender and sexual minority refugees in the UK. Bringing previously unheard stories to the forefront, this enlightening volume challenges dominant notions about the construction of sexuality and gender as an instrument for claiming rights in a world shaped by postcolonial relations. Giametta first examines why the migratory experience of the studied migrants is located within a set of humanitarian-inflected discourses that privilege suffering and trauma. This is then followed by an assessment of the respondents’ biographical accounts, which consequently uncovers how being situated in liminal socio-political and legal interstices produces precarious forms of life.
Whilst the topic of asylum for gender and sexual minorities has attracted wide media coverage over the past decade, there persists a lack of academic attention to the complex experiences of these refugees. As such, this timely book will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in human rights, sociology, anthropology, migration, sexuality, gender and cultural studies, as well as people working within the refugee granting process.
Calogero Giametta is a sociologist with a research focus on the nexus between migration, gender and sexuality. His work focuses on the analysis of two forms of socio-legal protection addressing non-EU migrants: anti-trafficking initiatives and the right of asylum. He is a research fellow within the ERC-funded project Sexual Humanitarianism: Migration, Sex Work and Trafficking (Kingston University/ Aix Marseille University).