The Biometric Border World: Technology, Bodies and Identities on the Move, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Biometric Border World

Technology, Bodies and Identities on the Move, 1st Edition

By Karen Fog Olwig, Kristina Grünenberg, Perle Møhl, Anja Simonsen

Routledge

296 pages | 34 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367199586
pub: 2019-10-15
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Description

Since the 1990s, biometric border control has attained key importance throughout Europe. Employing digital images of, for example, fingerprints, DNA, bones, faces or irises, biometric technologies use bodies to identify, categorize, and regulate individuals’ cross-border movements.

Based on innovative collaborative fieldwork, this book examines how biometrics are developed, put to use and negotiated in key European border sites. It analyses the disparate ways in which the technologies are applied, perceived and experienced by border control agents and others managing the cross-border flow of people, by scientists and developers engaged in making the technologies, and by migrants and NGOs attempting to manoeuvre in the complicated and often unpredictable systems of technological control.

Biometric technologies are promoted by national and supra-national authorities and industry as scientifically exact and neutral methods of identification and verification, and as an infallible solution to security threats. The ethnographic case studies in this volume demonstrate, however, that the technologies are, in fact, characterized by considerable ambiguity and uncertainty, and subject to substantial subjective interpretation, translation and brokering with different implications for migrants, border guards, researchers and other actors engaged in the border world.

Table of Contents

Introduction

I. In the laboratory

Kristina Grünenberg

Introducing the Site

1. Body Cartographers: Mapping Bodies and Borders in the Laboratory

2. The ‘Biometric Community’: Friends, Foes and the Political Economy of Biometric Technologies

Epilogue

II. On the border

Perle Møhl

Introducing the Site

3. Vision, Faces, Identities: Technologies of Recognition

4. ‘Is It a Donkey?’ Presences, Senses and Figuration in Human-technological Border Control

Epilogue

III. En route

Anja Simonsen

Introducing the Site

5. Fleeting (Biometric) Encounters: Care and Control at Italian Border Sites

6. ‘In-formation’ and ‘Out-formation’: Routines and Gaps En Route

Epilogue

IV. In the family

Karen Fog Olwig

Introducing the Site

7. Biometric Verification Vs. Social Validation of Relations of Kinship: Somali Refugees in Denmark

8. Mouth Swabs and Other Techniques of Verification: Determining Refugees’ Rights to a Family Life

Epilogue

Conclusion

About the Authors

Karen Fog Olwig is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Kristina Grünenberg is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Perle Møhl is a Researcher in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Anja Simonsen isan Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Anthropology

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC002000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General