The passport: A perception of risk on mobility -A Documentary Analysis of the passport from a Norwegian view
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The passport is an item that most people take for granted; it is internalised in the population that the world constitute of a myriad of nation-states dictating laws that are controlling and inhibiting people's movements (mobility) - legitimised by the usage and acceptance of the passports. This thesis looks at the history of the passport from a Norwegian view and is looking at how the passport came about, why it came about, how it includes, and excludes people to certain rights and what risks have been and still are perceived in people that are crossing borders. It will look at how all travel documents through time have been used as a means to control people's movements and how this has inhibited and still are inhibiting people's level of mobility when wanting to cross borders. The history of the passport will be compared with today's passport with the aim to look at the what has changed and what has not, and bring it in to a discussion about the passport system as we know it today. The focus is on freedom of movement (mobility) and how this is unequally distributed between different groups of people and nationalities. This thesis seeks to address that the passport is part of stratifying processes, as it will effect if the holder gets an easy access or not in to another country. This thesis will look at the society that creates the passport regime and how this is affecting people's mobility. The sociological framework in this thesis is risk theories where Ulrich Becks ideas about us living in a risk society are in the limelight together with Frank Furedi's concept of the risky stranger. The combination of these two risk concepts will show how the risk society keeps producing a perception of risky strangers and how this is affecting the passport and people's level of mobility. At the base of the theoretical framework is how fear is affecting how the government is regulating our ability to cross borders. Fear is also at the base of how people are viewed through history, although the ways people are controlled and who is controlled has changed a great deal. For example, today the legislations divide different nationalities, which effect the permissions given to cross the borders. In older times the permission to cross borders were given to a person wanting to cross a border and the decision to grant permission was based on the person and did not focus on the nationality. The fear of people is often translated in to risk perceptions of incidents that one fear will happen.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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