Displaying genuineness: cultural translation in the drafting of marriage narratives for immigration applications and appeals by Natasha Carver is available for free during March. This is the abstract:
This article uses Finch’s (2007) idea of ‘display’ to analyse the process in which autobiographical statements for family immigration applications and appeals are drafted in the United Kingdom. I argue that legal representatives play a key role in ‘translating culture’ (Good, 2011) in relation to both content and form, a process that is driven primarily by the need to demonstrate compatibility with the cultural assumptions of ethnocentrically conceived Immigration Rules. These rules act as ‘moral gatekeepers’ (Wray, 2006) to set limits on the conceptual structure of ‘family’ and to outline what a ‘genuine’ marital relationship looks like, thereby excluding cultural Others. The findings show that legal representatives translate the experiences, norms and values of their clients’ relationships using authorial devices to make the account ring true within a commonsense understanding of British culture. I suggest that legal representatives thus contribute to a successful outcome for those lacking in cultural capital.