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International Migration and Human RightsThe Global Repercussions of U.S. Policy$
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Samuel Martinez

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520258211

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520258211.001.0001

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Security and Insecurity on a Global “War on Terrorism”

Security and Insecurity on a Global “War on Terrorism”

Arab-Muslim Immigrant Experience in Post-9/11 America

Chapter:
(p.117) 6 Security and Insecurity on a Global “War on Terrorism”
Source:
International Migration and Human Rights
Author(s):

Samuel Martínez

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520258211.003.0007

This chapter introduces an ethnographic approach to security that attends to the lived experience of being constituted as a target on the domestic front of the United States' “War on Terrorism.” It examines a set of core social and psychological processes through which “national security” functions and is maintained. Such discussion illustrates not only the effect of “national security” within a particular community but also the emotions, memories, and experiences that are necessary for its constitution. It shows how the state's manufacturing of fear in response to the events of 9/11 has brought back to life a host of insecurities and anxieties that many had experienced in their countries of origin and thought they had escaped by coming to the United States. By paying close attention to these experiences, and the ways that pasts and presents can come to resemble one another, this chapter develops a framework for thinking about the state's response to 9/11 as not merely an extraordinary or excessive response to a singular event. Rather, it takes this lived sense of resemblance and familiarity as a significant commentary on emerging and enduring patterns of political legitimation and state authority.

Keywords:   national security, war on terrorism, Arab-muslim immigrant, psychological processes, political legitimation

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