“Border” Problems: Real and Otherwise



In Chapter  6, leaders from the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas explain the challenges of living and working in borderlands in ways that overturn national assumptions about the region. Leaders across civic, economic, political, educational, and law enforcement sectors identify inaccuracies and gaping holes in the national news story to push for a new way of thinking about the southern border. Leaders position regional challenges as legacies of inequitable state and national resource allocation. They contend that what the nation thinks are inherently border problems are due, instead, to imposed inequality from the core and not because of the region’s proximity to Mexico. Notably, leaders reject alterity while claiming an exclusive contribution to the state and nation. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the tensions inherent in telling a new border story that can simultaneously deborder imposed social differences and attend to the real legacies of those differences, such as poverty and violence.


Deborder Alterity U.S.–Mexico border 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyThe University of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

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