Borderless Borders

Borderless Borders

Frank Bonilla
Edwin Meléndez
Rebecca Morales
María de los Angeles Torres
Copyright Date: 1998
Published by: Temple University Press
Pages: 282
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Borderless Borders
    Book Description:

    This new reality -- the Latinization of the United States -- is driven by forces that reach well beyond U.S. borders. It asserts itself demographically, politically, in the workplace, and in daily life. The perception that Latinos are now positioned to help bring about change in the Americas from within the United States has taken hold, sparking renewed interest and specific initiatives by hemispheric governments to cultivate new forms of relationships with emigrant communities.Borderless Bordersdescribes the structural processes and active interventions taking place inside and outside U.S. Latino communities. After a context-setting introduction by urban planner Rebecca Morales, the contributors focus on four themes. Economist Manuel Pastor Jr., urban sociologist Saskia Sassen, and political scientist Carol Wise look at emerging forms of global and transnational interdependence and at whether they are likely to produce individuals who are economically independent or simply more dependent. Sociologist Jorge Chapa, social anthropologist Maria P. Fernandez Kelly, and economist Edwin Melendez examine the negative impact of economic and political restructuring within the United States,especially within Latino communities. Performance artist Guillermo Gomez-Pena, legal scholar Gerald Torres, political scientist Maria de los Angeles Torres, and modern language specialist Silvio Torres-Saillant consider the implications -- for community formation, citizenship, political participation, and human rights -- of the fact that individuals are forced to construct identities for themselves in more than one sociopolitical setting. Finally, sociologist Jeremy Brecher, sociologist Frank Bonilla, and political scientist Pedro Caban speculate on new paths into international relations and issue-oriented social movements and organizations among these mobile populations. To supplement the written contributions, Painter Bibiana Suarez has chosen several artworks that contribute to the interdisciplinary scope of the book.

    eISBN: 978-1-59213-844-9
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Preface: Changing the Americas from Within the United States
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    Frank Bonilla
  5. Chapter 1 Dependence or Interdependence: Issues and Policy Choices Facing Latin Americans and Latinos
    (pp. 1-14)
    Rebecca Morales

    Over the last decade, the Western Hemisphere has become progressively integrated economically. This is particularly evident among the industrialized and advanced industrializing countries of North and South America. Here, as elsewhere worldwide, regional blocs are gaining prominence, each shaped by unique developmental paths. The term “interdependence” has been used to convey the way in which d1e welfare of each country within the region affects that of others. In the Americas, this path has been guided by liberal economic policies, combining economic growth with high rates of poverty and income inequality and a heightened mobility of people and capital. However, interdependence...

  6. Part I Global Interdependence
    • Chapter 2 Interdependence, Inequality, and Identity: Linking Latinos and Latin Americans
      (pp. 17-34)
      Manuel Pastor Jr.

      Over the past several years, researchers in the fields of Latino/Chicano Studies and Latin American Studies have been struck by a remarkable convergence of themes and issues. Many scholars who began their work in the area of Latin American political economy are now contributing key insights into issues of Latino political identity and economic advancement. At the same time, scholars originally rooted in the field of Latino Studies have recognized the need to understand the dynamics of Latino countries of origin, particularly as the Latino experience in the United States has continued to resist neat categorization within traditional “immigrant” or...

    • Chapter 3 Trading Places: U.S. Latinos and Trade Liberalization in the Americas
      (pp. 35-52)
      Manuel Pastor Jr. and Carol Wise

      Just as the 1980s stand out as the decade of the debt crisis in Latin America, the 1990s have become the decade of free trade. After a number of failed attempts at trade liberalization during the 1970s, many states in the region began, by the second half of the 1980s, to make dramatic progress in reducing tariffs and eliminating quantitative trade restrictions.¹ While the strongest evidence of this new open approach to hemispheric integration was reflected in Mexico’s 1994 entry into a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United States and Canada, the trends also include the commitment...

    • Chapter 4 The Transnationalization of Immigration Policy
      (pp. 53-68)
      Saskia Sassen

      When it comes to immigration policy, states under the rule of law confront a range of rights and obligations from both outside and inside the state, from universal human rights to not-so-universal ethnic lobbies. The overall effect is to constrain the sovereignty of the state and undermine old notions about immigration control. We see emerging a de facto regime, centered in international agreements and conventions as well as in various rights gained by immigrants, that limits the state’s role in controlling immigration even when the rhetoric of sovereignty proceeds as if nothing had changed.

      Further, states have relinquished some of...

  7. Part II The Reconfigured United States
    • Chapter 5 The Burden of Interdependence: Demographic, Economic, and Social Prospects for Latinos in the Reconfigured U.S. Economy
      (pp. 71-82)
      ]orge Chapa

      InThe Burden of Support, my co-authors and I examined the projected population sizes and age distributions of Anglos, African-Americans, Asians, and U.S.-born and immigrant Latinos.¹ We noted that the Latino population would grow very rapidly under most assumptions; even in the event of no future international in-migration, the number of Latinos would rise. An important corollary of this growth is that the proportion of Latinos in the younger age groups will be even higher. The other minority populations studied also were projected to increase faster than the population as a whole and to have relatively young age distributions. In...

    • Chapter 6 From Estrangement to Affinity: Dilemmas of Identity Among Hispanic Children
      (pp. 83-104)
      Patricia Fernández-Kelly

      The progression from migration to ethnicity is gradual. In most cases, the transition is short lived—a stepping stone in the journey toward assimilation. In others, the passage toward incorporation is never accomplished, and the children and grandchildren of immigrants slowly acquire a minority status. It takes time for migrants to learn to perceive themselves as members of ethnic groups. When crossing international borders, individuals tend to identify on the basis of nationality; in areas of destination, however, they are perceived as constituents of unfamiliar, often disdained, categories. Mexicans, Nicaraguans, and Cubans find their national differences obliterated by their common...

    • Chapter 7 The Economic Development of El Barrio
      (pp. 105-128)
      Edwin Meléndez

      Few themes have attracted as much intellectual interest during the past two decades as the global economy. The initial research impetus came largely from a need to understand changing trade, production, and investment patterns in international markets and the repercussions of these changes for national economies. The oil shortage of the early 1970s marked a turning point for macroeconomic dynamics in the United States and other industrialized and developing countries. Subsequently, much attention was given to the dismantling of welfare states and privatization, increased inequality, and migration flows. As many authors in this volume observe, these changes had tremendous consequences...

  8. Part III The Politics and Identity of Diaspora
    • Chapter 8 1995 – Terreno Peligroso/Danger Zone: Cultural Relations Between Chicanos and Mexicans at the End of the Century
      (pp. 131-138)
      Guillermo Gómez-Peña

      In February 1995, the first stage of a binational performance project called “Terreno Peligroso/Danger Zone” was completed. For an entire month—two weeks in Los Angeles and two in Mexico City—eleven experimental artists whose work challenges stereotypical or official notions of identity, nationality, language, sexuality, and the creative process worked together daily. Representing Mexico were Lorena Wolffer, Felipe Ehrenberg, Eugenia Vargas, César Martinez, and Elvira Santamaria; from California were Elia Arce, Rubén Martínez, Nao Bustamante, Luis Alfaro, Roberto Sifuentes, and myself. Chosen by the curators and producers, Josefina Ramírez and Lorena Wolffer, this group was as eclectic and diverse...

    • Chapter 9 Visions of Dominicanness in the United States
      (pp. 139-152)
      Silvio Torres-Saillant

      What is the Dominican perspective on the Latino community and the global society? The inclusion of a Dominican voice in this volume says a great deal about the rise of Dominican immigrants as an important branch of the Latino population in the United States. It also acknowledges that tackling the difficult challenges currently facing our community requires a plurality of voices. The adoption by the United States of economic and political measures prompted by the imperatives of globalization can be expected to shake the relationship of Latinos to the mainstream society. But an equally important concern is the extent to...

    • Chapter 10 The Legacy of Conquest and Discovery: Meditations on Ethnicity, Race, and American Politics
      (pp. 153-168)
      Gerald Torres

      InThe General in His Labyrinth, Gabriel García Márquez has Simón Bolivar painfully reflecting on his failed dream to unify South America as one nation and drive out the Spanish overlords.¹ Plagued by feverish nightmares, unable to sleep in the days before leaving Bogota on the Magdalena River, as near to collapse as his dreams, the General can only mutter: “Nobody understood anything.”² Bolivar’s dreamed-of unity splinters into feuding and competing national identities that become the demons in his nightmares: “There is no other alternative,” he says. “Either unity or anarchy.”³ The polarity of his vision continues to infect the...

    • Chapter 11 Transnational Political and Cultural Identities: Crossing Theoretical Borders
      (pp. 169-182)
      María de los Angeles Torres

      Political borders—a defining feature of nation-states during the twentieth century—are changing, being reinforced at the same time that they are eroding. These increasingly porous frontiers suggest that, like economies, the nature of politics and of political participation may also change.¹ One reason is that people, particularly in diaspora communities, are affected by decisions made by governments in which they have only a limited voice or no voice at all. In home countries, governments make decisions that affect diaspora communities residing beyond the state’s geographic jurisdiction. In host countries, diaspora communities often have a restricted role in public affairs...

  9. Part IV Reaching for the Civil Society on a Global Scale
    • Chapter 12 Popular Movements and Economic Globalization
      (pp. 185-194)
      Jeremy Brecher

      Social movements are crucial vehicles through which non-elite groups express their values and interests, especially when these are imperfectly represented within central institutions. Economic globalization has had a profound impact on both the present condition and the future options for social movements around the world. In this chapter I explore some aspects of globalization that are significant for social movements and then discuss new responses that are emerging from such movements. I hope the chapter will confirm the important role of links between U.S. Latinos and Latin Americans in forging a constructive response to globalization.

      Until recently the focus of...

    • Chapter 13 The New Synthesis of Latin American and Latino Studies
      (pp. 195-216)
      Pedro Cabán

      Academics and administrators are—for a variety of reasons—promoting the integration of traditional Latin American Studies and Latino-oriented programs and departments. Although the dynamics of these mergers will differ, some generalizations are possible: Latin American and Latino Studies have distinct academic histories, are positioned differently in the intellectual hierarchies of the university, and have evolved as separate fields of inquiry with quite divergent perspectives on the link between knowledge and action. In the following pages I discuss the competing analytical traditions, normative orientations, and epistemologies, as well as the contrasting political projects and policy concerns, of the two fields....

    • Chapter 14 Rethinking Latino/Latin American Interdependence: New Knowing, New Practice
      (pp. 217-230)
      Frank Bonilla

      The conference in Bellagio that generated this volume was in many ways a culmination of a process extending over at least three decades. Yet the foregoing chapters only hint at the range and complexity of the roles individuals and organizations have assumed in bringing into being the substantial research and policy apparatus that now supports undertakings of this scope. The group was assembled with an eye to the inclusion of individuals with distinctive individual career paths coupled with a record of organizational innovations in knowledge creation and use. A full account of the underlying resource base and potential for action...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 231-276)
  11. About the Illustrations
    (pp. 277-278)
    Bibiana Suárez
  12. About the Contributors
    (pp. 279-280)
  13. Index
    (pp. 281-290)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 291-291)