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Borderless Borders

Frank Bonilla

Publication Year: 1998

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 Borders describes 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.

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii

This volume culminates more than a decade of effort by Latinos in a Changing U.S. Economy, a working group operating under the umbrella of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR). Along with others, this team pioneered a now-established mode of collaboration...

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Preface: Changing the Americas from Within the United States

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pp. ix-xiii

Over the past several decades, Latinos in the United States have emerged as strategic actors in major processes of social transformation. This new reality-the Latinization of the United States-is driven by forces that extend well beyond U.S. borders and asserts itself demographically and...

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1. Dependence or Interdependence: Issues and Policy Choices Facing Latin Americans and Latinos

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pp. 1-13

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...

Part 1: Global Interdependence

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2. Interdependence, Inequality, and Identity: Linking Latinos and Latin Americans

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pp. 17-33

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 beg~l their work in the area of Latin American political economy are now contributing key insights into...

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3. Trading Places: U.S. Latinos and Trade Liberalization in the Americas

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pp. 35-51

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...

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4. The Transnationalization of Immigration Policy

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pp. 53-67

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...

Part II: The Reconfigured United States

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5. The Burden of Interdependence: Demographic, Economic, and Social Prospects for Latinos in the Reconfigured U.S.Economy

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pp. 71-82

In The Burden of Support, my co-authors and I examined the projected population sizes and age distributions of Anglos, Mrican-Americans, Asians, and U.S.-born and immigrant Latinos1 We noted that the Latino population would grow very rapidly wider most assumptions; even in the event of...

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6. From Estrangement to Affinity: Dilemmas of Identity Among Hispanic Children

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pp. 83-104

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...

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7. The Economic Development of El Barrio

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pp. 105-127

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...

Part III: The Politics and Identity of Diaspora

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8. 1995 - Terreno Peligroso/Danger Zone: Cultural Relations Between Chicanos and Mexicans at the End of the Century

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pp. 131-137

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...

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9. Visions of Dominicanness in the United States

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pp. 139-152

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...

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10. The Legacy of Conquest and Discovery: Meditations on Ethnicity, Race, and American Politics

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pp. 153-168

In The General in His Labyrinth, Gabriel Garda Marquez has Simon 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...

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11. Transnational Political and Cultural Identities: Crossing Theoretical Borders

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pp. 169-182

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...

Part IV: Reaching for the Civil Society on a Global Scale

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12. Popular Movements and Economic Globalization

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pp. 185-193

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...

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13. The New Synthesis of Latin American and Latino Studies

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pp. 195-215

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...

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14. Rethinking Latino/Latin American Interdependence: New Knowing, New Practice

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pp. 217-230

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...


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pp. 231-275

About the Illustrations

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pp. 277-278

About the Contributors

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pp. 279-280


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pp. 281-290

E-ISBN-13: 9781592138449
Print-ISBN-13: 9781566396202

Publication Year: 1998