Judith Butler asks us to look at questions of humanness and recognize how some lives are mourned and glorified whereas others are rendered invisible. In the world today millions of people are on the move in an attempt to escape desperate poverty, conflict and abuse. Whilst most refugees and displaced communities remain near their country of origin, some make long and often dangerous journeys to find a safer and better life in more affluent countries of the Global North. In many of these countries there is increasing hostility towards migrant communities and more restrictive and punitive responses to immigration control. How do the negative discourses by politicians and the media about asylum seekers and undocumented migrants influence their lives and the professionals who work with them? How should social workers respond to laws and policies that institutionalize some people as having lesser rights than others? How can social workers get the voices and experiences of asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants heard? What contributions can social constructionist and postmodern thinking make to this situation?

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