'Beauty and the Beast': Sham Marriage and Everyday Bordering Discourse

Wemyss, Georgie, Yuval-Davis, Nira and Cassidy, Kathryn (2018) 'Beauty and the Beast': Sham Marriage and Everyday Bordering Discourse. Political Geography, 66. pp. 151-160. ISSN 0962-6298

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2017.05.008


This paper examines discourses of ‘sham marriage’ as a technology of everyday bordering in the UK. We argue that everyday bordering needs to be seen as a growing hegemonic political project of belonging experienced in complex ways as differently situated individuals negotiate proliferating internal and external borders. We explore how the process of marriage registration, especially when it concerns citizens of ex-Empire states marrying British or EEA citizens, has been transformed, under evolving UK Immigration Acts, from a celebration into a security interrogation. The discourses and practices associated with ‘sham marriage’ have become important elements in bordering control, which has become a major technology of managing diversity and discourses on diversity, in the UK. ‘Sham marriage’ discourses can adversely affect the lives of families, neighbours, friends, employers and others across time and transnational space. In order to understand the complexities of everyday bordering, we developed a situated, intersectional analysis capturing the situated gazes and border imaginaries of lawmakers, registrars, church officials, targeted couples and examining spectacular ‘sham marriage’ media stories that incorporate diverse citizens into border-guarding roles focused on the intimate lives of others.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Everyday bordering; Intersectionality; Politics of belonging; Sham marriage; Immigration; Intimacy-geopolitics
Subjects: L300 Sociology
L600 Anthropology
L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Kathryn Cassidy
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2017 11:05
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 11:34
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/30952

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