Punitiveness and the criminalisation of the other : State wards, unlawful non-citizens and Indigenous youth

Carrington, Kerry (2011) Punitiveness and the criminalisation of the other : State wards, unlawful non-citizens and Indigenous youth. Somatechnics, 1(1), pp. 30-48.

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Abstract

This paper explores the genealogies of bio-power that cut across punitive state interventions aimed at regulating or normalising several distinctive ‘problem’ or ‘suspect’ deviant populations, such as state wards, non-lawful citizens and Indigenous youth. It begins by making some general comments about the theoretical approach to bio-power taken in this paper. It then outlines the distinctive features of bio-power in Australia and how these intersected with the emergence of penal welfarism to govern the unruly, unchaste, unlawful, and the primitive. The paper draws on three examples to illustrate the argument – the gargantuan criminalisation rates of Aboriginal youth, the history of incarcerating state wards in state institutions, and the mandatory detention of unlawful non-citizens and their children. The construction of Indigenous people as a dangerous presence, alongside the construction of the unruly neglected children of the colony — the larrikin descendants of convicts as necessitating special regimes of internal controls and institutions, found a counterpart in the racial and other exclusionary criteria operating through immigration controls for much of the twentieth century. In each case the problem child or population was expelled from the social body through forms of bio-power, rationalised as strengthening, protecting or purifying the Australian population.

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ID Code: 40930
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Keywords: bio-power, penal welfarism, criminalisation, institutionalisation, Australia
DOI: 10.3366/soma.2011.0004
ISSN: 2044-0138
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Criminal Law and Procedure (180110)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Edinburgh University Press
Deposited On: 24 Mar 2011 01:36
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2011 15:01

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