Configuring Violence: Governing Family, Marriage and Migration in Australian Social Welfare
Faubion, James D
Doctor of Philosophy
Using qualitative ethnographic methods over the course of 14 months in Melbourne, Australia, this study focuses on the institutional politics, ethical dilemmas, and knowledge practices through which forced marriage was conceived and contested as a new category of culturally specific violence across social welfare, law enforcement, and migrant community spaces. Unlike other forms of gender-based violence that have become objects of national concern in liberal states, forced marriage brings together questions of social welfare and humanitarian reason with questions of migrant mobility, state sovereignty, and citizenship. I argue that this new category of violence was shaped by the demands of the criminal justice, immigration, and social welfare systems which each represented Muslim migrant familial relations—both domestic and transnational—as social problems in competing ways. This study demonstrates how logics of risk, threat, care, and concern work simultaneously to produce neocolonial social policies in settler colonial liberal contexts confronting the human aftermath of global displacement.