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Daughters of the Danaides: an orature on women on the operation of UK immigration control

Cheney, Deborah (1994) Daughters of the Danaides: an orature on women on the operation of UK immigration control. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86270) (KAR id:86270)


This thesis investigates the operation of the United Kingdom immigration rules, taking as a focus their effect upon women. The manner in which the immigration rules prescribe, deter and forbid movement is highlighted.

The institutional culture of the Immigration Service is posed as a twentieth century counterpart to British overseas administration of earlier centuries. This parallel illustrates how British government practice of dealing with other cultures takes a form which, both under imperial rule and current immigration legislation, consistently marginalises lived realities.

Immigration control is seen as part of a continuum of a tradition of administration in which racial discrimination is an integral quality of working practice. The mystification of working practices nonetheless ensures denial of discrimination. The embodiment of universal categories and an independent appeal system within immigration control stand as ostensible safeguards against departure from an ideal of non-partisan operation, yet the opposite is pervasive.

The categories of passenger inscribed within immigration rules are identified as a core element of control. These demand fulfilment of particular constructs of identities which are culturally and gender role specific. The inclusion of examples of women who are subject to the immigration rules illustrates the implications of the dichotomy between self-knowledge which is a lived reality (of for example a mother or wife), and the categorisation of those identities within rules and practice. Administrative categorisation is revealed as manufacturing identities which serve specific ideological, political or economic ends. The constructed identities become received knowledge of those categorised, and of different cultures, which has socio-political consequences. Not least of these consequences is generation of a self-fulfilling prophecy of those legislated against standing as justification for immigration control.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86270
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Law; Immigration; women
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:47 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2022 07:24 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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