Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
MissingPersons and Politics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jenny Edkins

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450297

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450297.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 14 July 2020

Ambiguous Loss

Ambiguous Loss

(p.175) Chapter 8 Ambiguous Loss

Jenny Edkins

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines cases of people who walk out on their families and the impact of this on those left behind, along with the continuing search for answers by those whose relations disappeared for some reason after World War II, and by children who were separated from one or both of their birth parents. It begins by focusing on people reported missing in the United Kingdom, such as asylum seekers, and the evolution of systems to help relatives trace them. It then discusses the way in which British authorities moved from a refusal to engage with missing persons, except where a crime is suspected or in the case of minors, to a more active engagement of police in quotidian cases. It also looks at debates that reflect differing assessments of the right to disappear versus the right of relatives to know what has happened. It shows that relatives of missing persons suffer what Pauline Boss has called “ambiguous loss,” a particularly distressing form of loss.

Keywords:   children, parents, United Kingdom, asylum seekers, missing persons, police, right to disappear, relatives, ambiguous loss

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.