Macquarie University
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"The fence is very high": lived experiences of waiting amongst asylum seekers and refugees in Hobart, Tasmania

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posted on 2022-03-28, 13:13 authored by Avril Gwynneth Bryant
Barriers to international mobility have resulted in extensive delays throughout the process of seeking asylum. In Australia, strict border protection policies such as mandatory detention and the introduction of temporary visa categories have lengthened this process. Seeking asylum is defined not only by the space individuals inhabit but also, by time spent waiting. More importantly though, seeking asylum is defined by the lived experience of individuals. The global population of individuals seeking asylum are commonly referred to by the labels' asylum seeker' and 'refugee'. These labels form a generalised understanding of the 'refugee' that does not account for individual experience. Through an analysis of individual narratives, this thesis takes an ethnographic approach to consider the liminal nature of life as an asylum seeker in Hobart (Tasmania) and the impact of uncertainty on the resettlement practices of individuals from asylum seeker backgrounds. Offshore applications for asylum, mandatory detention and temporary protection are discussed in order to highlight the governmental strategies of power at play and the effect that the obstacles to protection have on the lives of individuals seeking asylum.


Table of Contents

1. Abstract -- 2. Statement of Originality -- 3. Acknowlegements -- 4. Introduction -- 5. Chapter 1: The Wait Begins -- 6. Chapter 2 Spatialities of Waiting -- 7. Chapter 3: Waiting to Stay -- 8. Chapter 4: Making the Connection -- 9. Conclusion -- 10. References -- 11. Appendix.


Bibliography: Pages 52-56 Theoretical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Anthropology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Anthropology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Eve Vincent


Copyright Avril Gwynneth Bryant 2016. Copyright disclaimer:




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