Home and Faraway Places
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In this chapter, the argument for the book is presented: national media and political rhetoric largely reborder the borderlands, while border leaders strategically and rhetorically deploy a different story to deborder the region from rest of the nation. “The border” has become a specific device in American media and political wrangling to border and reborder, processes of making or reinforcing social, economic, and cultural boundaries in our nation, that mirror historical discourse associated with colonialism and Western expansionism in the United States. Local leaders suggest the U.S. southern borderlands are uniquely and productively American because of the region’s proximity and interconnectedness to Mexico. The argument is contextualized within place-making about the U.S.–Mexico border in major national stories in the 2010s, the discipline of Anthropology, and the author’s professional and personal experiences. Positionality and reflexivity are highlighted as key orientations to anthropological analysis of narratives of places and people.
KeywordsReflexivity Positionality U.S.–Mexico border Narrative Western expansionism
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