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Meaning nothing but good: ethics, history and asylum seeker phobia in Britain

Meaning nothing but good: ethics, history and asylum seeker phobia in Britain
Meaning nothing but good: ethics, history and asylum seeker phobia in Britain
The current hostility of the media, politicians, state and public against asylum-seekers in Britain is unprecedented in its intensity. Rarely in modern British history have those campaigning for refugee rights been so isolated, marginalized and silenced. Kushner explores how it has been possible to couch the campaign against asylum-seekers in a discourse of morality: the need to protect ‘our’ people and culture against the diseased and dangerous alien, as well as the distinction drawn between helping the genuine refugee and exposing the bogus asylum-seeker. History has been instrumentalized to prove, through alleged generosity in the past, the moral righteousness of Britain's treatment of refugees. He attempts to expose the dangers of misplaced ethics and distorted history. To begin the process of change, he argues, historians and moral philosophers, because of the abuse of their areas of expertise, must confront the issue of refugees as being central rather than peripheral to their concerns.
asylum seekers, ethics, history, immigration, lee-on-the-solent, the moral maze, racism, refugees
0031-322X
257-276
Kushner, Tony
958c42e3-4290-4cc4-9d7e-85c1cdff143b
Kushner, Tony
958c42e3-4290-4cc4-9d7e-85c1cdff143b

Kushner, Tony (2003) Meaning nothing but good: ethics, history and asylum seeker phobia in Britain. Patterns of Prejudice, 37 (3), 257-276.

Record type: Article

Abstract

The current hostility of the media, politicians, state and public against asylum-seekers in Britain is unprecedented in its intensity. Rarely in modern British history have those campaigning for refugee rights been so isolated, marginalized and silenced. Kushner explores how it has been possible to couch the campaign against asylum-seekers in a discourse of morality: the need to protect ‘our’ people and culture against the diseased and dangerous alien, as well as the distinction drawn between helping the genuine refugee and exposing the bogus asylum-seeker. History has been instrumentalized to prove, through alleged generosity in the past, the moral righteousness of Britain's treatment of refugees. He attempts to expose the dangers of misplaced ethics and distorted history. To begin the process of change, he argues, historians and moral philosophers, because of the abuse of their areas of expertise, must confront the issue of refugees as being central rather than peripheral to their concerns.

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More information

Published date: 2003
Keywords: asylum seekers, ethics, history, immigration, lee-on-the-solent, the moral maze, racism, refugees
Organisations: History

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 398507
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/398507
ISSN: 0031-322X
PURE UUID: 0a4dd932-c009-40c3-8974-41bdfe1920a6

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Date deposited: 01 Aug 2016 16:16
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 20:15

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