Masculinities in Immigration Detention Centres

Crime as a Result of the Institutional Victimization of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants in Multicultural Liberal Democracies


  • Haven Rice University of Alberta



Masculinity, Immigration, Victimization, Marginalization History, Racialization, Detention Centres, Immigration Detention, Mulitcultural Liberal Democracy, Government Policy, Canadian Policy, American Policy, British Policy


A great tool to grow an empire, detention camps have been historically used and abused as a subordination tactic by all of the most powerful empires, most notably by Germany’s Nazi Regime in the Second World War. Commonly thought to have been born and died in history, they are a mostly forgotten piece of the past. Many would be shocked to discover that there is a secret world of institutions that disregard international human rights law in order to prioritize their national goals, where refugees, asylum seekers and migrants are the primary victims. Systems for migrancy and immigration detention have emerged in the wake of globalization, seeking asylum from conflicts, natural disasters or financial insecurity, or simply searching for better economic opportunities, education or reunion with family. Multicultural liberal democracies use detention centres to enforce their racialized and gendered penal power and establish a national hierarchy where poor, young men of colour are the most marginalized. This paper critically examines the victimization of male refugees, asylum seekers and migrants by neo-colonial masculinities in Canadian, American and British immigration detention centres and how these experiences create offenders through the victim-offender overlap.