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” qualityconflicts, resistance, slanting, displacements, and persistencein 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.
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
|Publisher:||University of Arizona Press|
|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