Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In the context of increasingly restrictive immigration and asylum policies in the United Kingdom, human rights advocates suggest that a ‘culture of disbelief’ permeates the asylum system, forestalling the provision of protection to those who need it. This study aims to contribute to emerging academic literature on the culture of disbelief by asking how and to what extent it manifests through the performance of law. Adopting an ethnographic approach, we observed nine complete and five partial asylum appeal hearings at Taylor House Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in London, spoke with judges and solicitors, and conducted two key informant interviews. Framing our findings using Bourdieu’s concepts of ‘habitus’, ‘field’ and ‘capital’, we do not argue that any individual element in the courtroom accounts for the culture of disbelief. Instead, this culture, or habitus, emerges when various structures and agents, with varying capital, combine.

More information

Type

Working paper

Publisher

Refugee Studies Centre

Publication Date

31/07/2014

Volume

102