About the Role of the State Border in the Theory of Borderland
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The interest in borders in recent years has rather focused on processes and phenomena that question state jurisdiction over a territory and its inhabitants. This is connected with at least three noticeable phenomena, which are as follows: (1) intensifying migrations out of economic and political motives; (2) the growth of separatist tendencies, revival of ethnic movements, striving to obtain autonomy by old-new ethno-regional and ethno-cultural groups; (3) transfer of still new and new aspects of human activity into virtual space that does not possess its representation in “reality”. Accepting that the existence of a borderland is determined by a form of border (historical, mental, or cultural), I will attempt to point to a few arguments to prove that a state border does not have to be the border in question. 1. The logic of demarcating borders in the twentieth century was based on two main criteria: ethnic and historical. The ethnic criterion, introduced into the political geography at the turn of the nineteenth and the twentieth century ousted the formerly valid historical one. Then a state border is rather to prevent the appearance of borderlands as new forms of organization of groups understood as culturally hybrid. 2. Within the output of cultural anthropology, sociology of a nation, and intercultural education, one can find a number of theoretical models that confirm the thesis of the possibility of a borderland forming in various references to a state border. 3. Some territory turns into a borderland not due to the functioning of a border in it, but because of people’s migrations. 4. It is an ethnic group that possesses the property of assigning and excluding. Such an approach lays an emphasis on cultural values which can be acquired, even if as a culture of choice, which is not given because of being born in the given cultural circle (which is, in any case, e.g., the basis of the identity of the American nation). This is now only a step away from concluding that in today’s world – one of a post-capitalist society – lasting systems of cultural patterns will emerge not on the basis of ethnicity, but on that of identifications intersecting them across, whose coexistence will give rise to new forms of life in the borderland. 5. Looking for synonyms for the word “borderland” in both fiction and scientific literature, we frequently come across the term “frontier”. The frontier, however, used to typically mean a “border” between civilization delineated by the state and its institutions and the primitive culture.
- Książki / Books 
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