The U.S.-Mexico Border: Transcending Divisions, Contesting Identities

edited by David Spener and Kathleen Staudt

"This volume implicitly represents a challenge to traditional border studies and invites borderland scholars to expand the scope of this multidisciplinary area to include discussions of metaphorical borders as well as material ones.... [It] constitutes an important contribution to border studies."—Journal of Borderlands Studies

"This exciting and thoughtful study brought the 'border' to life for me in new and provocative ways. Paying attention to both systems and subjects.... it represents a vital contribution to postcolonial analysis of the U.S.-Mexico border."—Gay Young

Exploring the construction of spatial lines and zones in physical, social, and academic terms, this volume presents the U.S.–Mexico border as a site from which to survey both the social and economic networks and the issues of identity and symbolism that surround borders.

The editors provide a theoretical introduction to the intrinsic nature of borders, as well as an overview of current trends in borderlands studies, to serve as a framework for the contributors’ case studies. A concluding section examines the implications of transcending traditional borders.

David Spener is assistant professor of sociology at Trinity University. Kathleen Staudt is professor of political science at the University of Texas, El Paso. Her most recent publications include Free Trade?: Informal Economies at the U.S.-Mexico Border and Women, International Development and Politics: The Bureaucratic Mire.


  • The View from the Frontier: Theoretical Perspectives Undisciplined—the Editors.
  • Nations and Borders: Romantic Nationalism and the Project of Modernity—V. Zúñiga.
  • Representing the Public Interest on the U.S.–Mexico Border—M. Saint-Germain.
  • Small Business, Social Capital, and Economic Integration on the Texas-Mexico Border—D. Spener and B. Roberts.
  • Visiting the Mother Country: Border-Crossing as a Cultural Practice—O. Ruíz.
  • Mexico Reflects on the U.S.: Colonias, Politics, and Public Services in Fragmented Federalism—K. Staudt with A. Holguín and M. Alarcón.
  • Globalizing Tenochtitlán? Feminist Geo-politics: Mexico City as Borderland—J. Murphy Erfani.
  • Border Signs: Graffiti, Contested Identities, and Everyday Resistance in Los Angeles—B. MacDonald.
  • The Competing Meanings of the Label “Chicano” in El Paso—P. Vila.
  • New Relationships Between Territory and State—M. Albert and L. Brock.
  • Conclusion: Rebordering—the Editors.
1998/264 Pages
ISBN: 1-55587-796-6 HC $55.00
LC: 98-29810
Last updated 10/02/00
Lynne Rienner Publishers: (303) 444-6684