The University of Arizona

The Mexico-United States Border in Anthropology: A Critique and Reformulation

Josiah McC. Heyman


This paper criticizes the use of the Mexico-United States border in cultural anthropology as an image for conveying theoretical abstractions. Instead, the paper outlines a focused model of political ecology on the border. It delineates territorialized state processes, deterritorialized capital processes, and sets of social relationships and cultural practices characteristic of this region.

Keywords: U.S.-Mexico border; anthropological theory; postmodernism; difference; public policy; states; capitalism; bureaucracies; brokers; households; immigration.

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