Author Identifier

Lelia Green

Document Type

Journal Article


QLD University of Technology


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications




Australian Research Council

Grant Number

ARC Number : DP0559707


Green, L. R., & Aly, A. (2014). Bastard immigrants: Asylum seekers who arrive by boat and the illegitimate fear of the other. M/C Journal, 17(5), 1. Available here


The human capacity to marginalise and discriminate against others on the basis of innate and constructed characteristics is evident from the long history of discrimination against people whose existence is ‘illegitimate’, defined as being outside the law. What is inside or outside the law depends upon the context under consideration. For example, in societies such as ancient Greece and the antebellum United States, where slavery was legal, people who were constructed as ‘slaves’ could legitimately be treated very differently from ‘citizens’: free people who benefit from a range of human rights (Northup). The discernment of what is legitimate from that which is illegitimate is thus implicated within the law but extends into the wider experience of community life and is evident within the civil structures through which society is organised and regulated.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.