At the Borders

Posted on May 24, 2011 by


As I’ve been exposed to more research and political agendas relating to immigration, I’d been thinking about the concept of boundaries and borders.

I have not been thinking of boundaries and borders as a means of keeping people out as we tend to use in immigration discourse.  Instead, I perceive borders/boundaries as these fronts, these illusions that groups of people like to put out there about a category, group, organization of which they are likely a central part of which masks the calamity “inside.”

Ever since last semester and my involvement with a community in Long Beach, I’d been struck by the idea of how things look different outside a boundary/border than the view from inside. We present this nice unified smiling facade of togetherness on the outside.  However once “inside” this community, there’s a lot more complications, agendas, and politics at play.

It’s quite similar to a lot of the way a lot of organizations work, whether its a government, nonprofit, or a business.

So, at the boundaries/borders, lots of friendly-ish illusions.  But once inside and caught up in all the shiftings, it’s ugly, messy, complicated.

Folks come in to many organizations excited by the friendly-ish illusions and cruise in the beginning operating off assumptions, illusions, and other outside feedback.  But once inside the organization in the thick and middle of things, and acquainted with its social rules, things get complicated, and unless exposed to the boundary/border signalling a beginning/end, they become lost in the wave of crap, the trivialities, the little things of the everyday operation.