The U.S.-Mexico Transborder Region: Cultural Dynamics and Historical Interactions

The U.S.-Mexico Transborder Region: Cultural Dynamics and Historical Interactions

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Overview

The U.S.-Mexico Transborder Region: Cultural Dynamics and Historical Interactions by Carlos G. Velez-Ibanez

The U.S.-Mexico Transborder Region presents advanced anthropological theorizing of culture in an important regional setting. Not a static entity, the transborder region is peopled by ever-changing groups who face the challenges of social inequality: political enforcement of privilege, economic subordination of indigenous communities, and organized resistance to domination.

The book, influenced by the work of Eric Wolf and senior editor Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez, centers on the greater Mexican North/U.S. Southwest, although the geographic range extends farther. This tradition, like other transborder approaches, attends to complex and fluid cultural and linguistic processes, going beyond the classical modern anthropological vision of one people, one culture, one language. With respect to recent approaches, however, it is more deeply social, focusing on vertical relations of power and horizontal bonds of mutuality.

Vélez-Ibáñez and Heyman envision this region as involving diverse and unequal social groups in dynamic motion over thousands of years. Thus the historical interaction of the U.S.-Mexico border, however massively unequal and powerful, is only the most recent manifestation of this longer history and common ecology. Contributors emphasize the dynamic “transborder” quality—conflicts, resistance, slanting, displacements, and persistence—in order to combine a critical perspective on unequal power relations with a questioning perspective on claims to bounded simplicity and perfection.

The book is notable for its high degree of connection across the various chapters, strengthened by internal syntheses from notable border scholars, including Robert R. Alvarez and Alejandro Lugo. In the final section, Judith Freidenberg draws general lessons from particular case studies, summarizing that “access to valued scarce resources prompts the erection of human differences that get solidified into borders,” dividing and limiting, engendering vulnerabilities and marginalizing some people.

At a time when understanding the U.S.-Mexico border is more important than ever, this volume offers a critical anthropological and historical approach to working in transborder regions.

Contributors:

Amado Alarcón
Robert R. Álvarez
Miguel Díaz-Barriga
Margaret E. Dorsey
Judith Freidenberg
Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz
James Greenberg
Josiah Heyman
Jane H. Hill
Sarah Horton
Alejandro Lugo
Luminita-Anda Mandache
Corina Marrufo
Guillermina Gina Núñez-Mchiri
Anna Ochoa O’Leary
Luis F. B. Plascencia
Lucero Radonic
Diana Riviera
Thomas E. Sheridan
Kathleen Staudt
Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816535156
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 04/11/2017
Pages: 408
Sales rank: 514,580
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez is Regents’ Professor and Motorola Presidential Professor of Neighborhood Revitalization in the School of Transborder Studies and Professor of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. His numerous honors include the 2004 Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology and the 2003 Bronislaw Malinowski Medal. Vélez-Ibáñez was named as corresponding member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences (Miembro Correspondiente de la Academia Mexicana de Ciencias) in 2015, and he is author of An Impossible Living in a Transborder World: Culture, Confianza, and Economy of Mexican-Origin Populations.

Josiah Heyman is a professor of anthropology, Endowed Professor of Border Trade Issues, and director of the Center for Interamerican and Border Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is the editor of States and Illegal Practices and author of Life and Labor on the Border: Working People of Northeastern Sonora, 1886-1986 and Finding a Moral Heart for U.S. Immigration Policy: An Anthropological Perspective. He has published more than one hundred scholarly articles and book chapters, and in 1999 received the Curl Essay Prize of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland for “Respect for Outsiders? Respect for Law? The Moral Evaluation of High-Scale Issues by U.S. Immigration Officers.”

Table of Contents

Introduction Josiah Heyman 3

Part I Transborder Processes and Sites: Theoretical and Methodological Innovations

1 Continuity and Contiguity of the Southwest North American Region: The Dynamics of a Common Political Ecology Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez 11

2 Contributions of U.S.-Mexico Border Studies to Social Science Theory Josiah Heyman 44

3 Exceptional States and Insipid Border Walls Margaret E. Dorsey Miguel Díaz-Barriga 65

4 Of Borders, Bridges, Walls, and Other Relations, Historical and Contemporary: A Commentary Alejandro Lugo 81

Part II Southwest North American Language Dynamics and the Creation of Bordering

5 Proto-Uto-Aztecan: A Community of Cultivators in Central Mexico? Jane H. Hill 91

6 The Hegemony of Language and Its Discontents: Spanish Impositions from the Colonial to the Mexican Period Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez 134

7 Spanish-English Bilingualism in Uneven and. Combined Relations Josiah Heyman Amado Alarcón 157

8 Southwest North American Language Dynamics and the Creation of Bordering: A Commentary Robert R. Álvarez 169

Part III Peoples, Political Policies, and Their Contradictions

9 The Ethics of Culture and Transnational Household Structure and Formation Revisited Anna Ochoa O'Leary 177

10 Neoliberal Policies and the Reshaping of the U.S.-Mexico Border: The Case of Arizona James Greenberg Luminita-Anda Mandache 198

11 Beyond Il/legality: Persistent Inequality and Racialized Borders of U.S. Citizenship Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz 228

11 Where Is "the Border"? The Fourth Amendment, Boundary Enforcement, and the Making of an Inherently Suspect Class Luis F. B. Plascencia 244

13 Peoples, Political Policies, and Their Contradictions: A Commentary Robert R. Álvarez 281

Part IV Transborder Economic, Ecological, and Health Processes

14 Co-producing Waterscapes: Urban Growth and Indigenous Water Rights in the Sonoran Desert Lucero Radonic Thomas E. Sheridan 287

15 Neoliberal Regimes, Research Methods, Local Activism: Border Steel, Environmental Injustice, and Health in a Texas-Mexico Border Colonia Kathleen Staudt 305

16 Diverted Retirement: The Pension Crisis Among Elderly Migrant Farmworkers Sarah Horton 322

17 Portraits of Food Insecurity in Colonias in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region: Ethnographic Insights on Everyday Life Challenges and Strategies to Access Food Guillermina Gina Núñez-Mchiri Diana Riviera Corina Marrufo 342

18 Transborder Economic, Ecological, and Health Processes: A Commentary Judith Freidenberg 370

Conclusion Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez 376

Contributors 383

Index 389

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