Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

The discipline of hope: abolishing the prison of immobility in post-deportation narrative

Vuolajarvi, Niina (2023) The discipline of hope: abolishing the prison of immobility in post-deportation narrative. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 49 (19). 4907 - 4927. ISSN 1369-183X

[img] Text (The discipline of hope abolishing the prison of immobility in post Deportation narratives) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (3MB)

Identification Number: 10.1080/1369183X.2023.2222916


This article examines the role of hope in the stories of people with experiences of deportation collected during a photojournalistic research project following deportees from Europe. Drawing on the political philosophy of hope, specifically Ernst Bloch, this article explores the complex and ambiguous presence of hope and despair in the stories of deportees. Hope could present itself as denial, naïve optimism that everything will be fine, or as despair, a loss of hope. However, it also demonstrates itself in the persistence of not giving up hope for different futures. Building on Mariame Kaba’s abolitionist thinking, the article illustrates how this ‘discipline of hope’ emerges as a survival strategy that has prefigurative socio-political dimensions. In the stories of deportees, this ‘discipline of hope’ was evidenced at the level of both imagination and practice; as a way to escape the post-deportation ‘prison of one’s home’ or other unfavourable conditions people found themselves in. The interviewees’ persistence in moving despite the border regime’s violence reveals the system’s ultimate failure to work against humans’ aspiration to strive for better lives through mobility and points to the transformative nature of hope.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
H Social Sciences
J Political Science
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2023 15:03
Last Modified: 26 May 2024 05:33

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics