From Exceptional to Liminal Subjects: Reconciling Tensions in the Politics of Tuberculosis and Migration
- 379 Downloads
Controlling the movement of potentially infectious bodies has been central to Australian immigration law. Nowhere is this more evident than in relation to tuberculosis (TB), which is named as a ground for refusal of a visa in the Australian context. In this paper, I critically examine the “will to knowledge” that this gives rise to. Drawing on a critical analysis of texts, including interviews with migrants diagnosed with TB and healthcare professionals engaged in their care (n=19), I argue that this focus on border policing, rather than resettlement and the broader social determinants of health that drive current rates of TB, paradoxically renders migrants diagnosed with TB as liminal subjects in the post-arrival phase. This raises ethical issues about who “matters,” as well as dilemmas about what constitutes adequate care for the “Other,” both of which go to the heart of the political economy of migration.
KeywordsTuberculosis Migration Equity Health disparities Social determinants of health Surveillance
- Barry, C., A. Konstantinos, and the National Tuberculosis Advisory Committee. 2009. Tuberculosis notifications in Australia, 2007. The Department of Health and Ageing. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cda-cdi3303f.htm. Accessed December 16, 2015.
- Bashford, A. 2010. The great white plague turns alien: Tuberculosis and immigration in Australia, 1901–2001. In Tuberculosis then and now: Perspectives on the history of an infectious disease, edited by F. Condrau and M. Warboys, 100–122. Montreal, Kingston, London, and Ithaca: McGill-Queen’s University Press.Google Scholar
- Casper, M.J., and L.J. Moore. 2009. Missing bodies: The politics of visibility. New York and London: New York University Press.Google Scholar
- Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights. 2000. General comment no. 14: The right to the highest attainable standard of health. Geneva: Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, publication no. E/C.12/2000/4.Google Scholar
- Craig, G.M. 2007. “Nation,” “migration” and tuberculosis. Social Theory & Health 5(3): 267–284.Google Scholar
- Das, D., M. Baker, and L. Calder. 2006. Tuberculosis epidemiology in New Zealand: 1995–2004. The New Zealand Medical Journal 119(1243): 1–15.Google Scholar
- Elks, S. 2011. End of TB lifeline a cruel blow. The Australian, July 2. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/end-of-tb-lifeline-a-cruel-blow/story-e6frg8y6-1226085402443. Accessed July 6, 2012.
- Foucault, M. 1994. Ethics: Subjectivity and truth. Translated by R. Hurley. New York: The New Press.Google Scholar
- Gandy, M., and A. Zumla. 2003. The return of the white plague: Global poverty and the “new” tuberculosis. London: Verso.Google Scholar
- Grover, A. 2013. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health: Addendum—mission to Azerbaijan. Geneva: United Nations, publication no. A/HRC/23/41/Add 1.Google Scholar
- Horner, J. 2014. Applying discourse theory: When “text” is more than just talk. In Sage research methods cases. New York: Sage. doi: 10.4135/978144627305014526821.
- House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing. 2013. Diseases have no borders: Report on the inquiry into health issues across international borders. Canberra, ACT: Commonwealth of Australia. http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_committees?url=haa/internationalhealthissues/report.htm. Accessed December 26, 2015.
- King, N.B. 2003. Immigration, race and geographies of difference in the tuberculosis pandemic. In The return of the white plague: Global poverty and the “new” tuberculosis, edited by M. Gandy and A. Zumla, 39–54. London: Verso.Google Scholar
- Laclau, E., and C. Mouffe. 1985. Hegemony and the socialist strategy: Towards a radical democratic politics. London: Verso.Google Scholar
- Lupton, D. 1999. Risk. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Mouffe, C. 2000. The democratic paradox. London: Verso.Google Scholar
- National Tuberculosis Advisory Committee. 2012. The strategic plan for control of tuberculosis in Australia: 2011–2015. Canberra: Department of Health and Ageing. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cda-cdi3603i.htm. Accessed December 16, 2015.
- Parnell, S. 2007. Papuans bringing diseases to north. The Australian, June 11. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/papuans-bringing-diseases-to-north/story-e6freuzr-1111113721081.
- Parnell, S. 2011. Chinese citizens dominant on secret border control database. The Australian, August 6. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/chinese-citizens-dominant-on-secret-border-control-database/story-fn59niix-1226109397090. Accessed December 16, 2015.
- Roche, P., V. Krause, A. Konstantinos, and I. Bastian. 2008. Tuberculosis notifications in Australia, 2006. Communicable Diseases Intelligence 32(1): 1–11.Google Scholar
- Sendzuik, P. 2003. Learning to trust: Australian responses to AIDS. Sydney: UNSW Press.Google Scholar
- The Courier-Mail. 2007. Hanson warns about disease. The Courier-Mail, June 14. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/hanson-warns-about-disease/story-e6freooo-1111113742892.
- Toms, C., R. Stapledon, J. Waring, and P. Douglas. 2015. Tuberculosis notifications in Australia, 2012 and 2013. Communicable Diseases Intelligence 39(2): e217–e235.Google Scholar
- Torfing, J. 1999. New theories of discourse: Laclau, Mouffe and Žižek. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
- World Health Organization. 2009. Global tuberculosis control—epidemiology, strategy, financing. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
- World Health Organization. 2015. Global tuberculosis report 2014. Geneva: World Health Organization, publication no. WHO/HTM/TB/2014.08.Google Scholar