Eurasia Border Review;Vol. 7, No. 1


Bad Fences Make Bad Neighbors: Challenging the Citizenship Regime in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

Montoya, T. Mark

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JaLCDOI : 10.14943/ebr.7.1.71


This article is theoretical in focus, contrasting a legalized citizenship of membership (the citizenship regime) with an alternative-citizenship of belonging (“borderdom”). The article will discuss the broader issues of cultural politics, which I argue transcend both the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and the citizenship regime. As such, we should confront and cross borders, as we seek to deconstruct them through the creative means that seek to redefine place and space against oppressive contexts, as a new discourse – a “borderdom” – is itself a utilized and evolving new culture. Beyond the citizenship regime, the article will examine cultural politics in the U.S.- Mexico borderlands and the people who challenge established notions of citizenship in their everyday activities. The goal is to show how attitudes, cultures, and identities, while diverse and varied, may exhibit an alternativecitizenship. I utilize cultural citizenship and cultural politics theories and approaches to illustrate, accept, and celebrate difference, instead of assimilation. The cultural approaches may also help us find alternative methods for political empowerment.