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Es el mismo lugar, nada más hay una línea : transcending the boundary- children's construction of local belonging in the San Ysidro-Tijuana border region

  • Author(s): González, Silvia Nasheili
  • et al.
Abstract

In today's context of globalization localized understandings of belonging often seem to conflict with wider national and international political, economic and social interests (Lovell, 1997). This is specially the case in the U.S-Mexico border region, a contested space that manufactures arrays of spatial experiences and a site where local and national lines intersect. This qualitative study adds to a growing body of work in the social sciences that addresses "locality" and the construction of belonging in the context of human transnational movement. Through the use of subjective mapping, interviews and a natural experiment, it looks at how transfronterizo children in the San Ysidro-Tijuana border region construct local belonging. The findings show that due to emotional trans-border kinship ties and frequent exposure to places in Tijuana these children construct a translocal sense of belonging made up of interconnected spaces of "groundedness" which spans across the national border. This sense of belonging directly impacts their place- identity and consequently the way they perceive and experience their physical world. Furthermore, rather than focusing on the ways in which different types of (adult) politics shape children's experiences, I embrace Norma González' concept of syncretic socialization and examine how transfronterizo children contest, modify and redefine adult discourses and perspectives towards places and people in this border environment (González 2005). The data gathered shows that tranfronterizo children's views contest normalized notions of the political divide and offer an alternative vision that challenges the ideological production of the border as a boundary

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