Fortified SocietiesThe Mobilisation of Shared Anxieties

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Type

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

Original languageEnglish
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Award date2018
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Abstract

My thesis argues that shared anxieties embedded in representations of
transnational migration fortified societal orientations in Britain and Australia. The language of political leaders in liberal democratic societies frequently interpret the transnational movement of people in conflicting ways. On the one hand, there are appeals to a more open society with more diverse sets of identifications and the loosening of societal regulations. On the other hand, there are appeals to a more closed society, with more narrow sets of identifications and the tightening of societal regulations. I build a sociological model for shared anxieties that synthesises features of process and risk sociology, developed by Norbert Elias and Ulrich Beck respectively. This synthesis offered a conceptual vocabulary to investigate the migration representations embedded within the speeches, interviews and press conferences of British and Australian Prime Ministers from 2001 to 2017. I reconstructed the societal processes that have propagated the relations expressed in the Brexit vote and the distortion of Australian diplomacy.
Broader societal fears of various established groupings infused images of
transnational outsiders. These stigmatising representations have raised the
barriers to societal inclusion and widened forms of societal exclusion. British and
Australian leaders circulated and cultivated more reductive modes of thinking and orientating

Keywords

  • shared anxieties, orientation, fortification, leaders, migration