This paper examines some aspects of the modern condition of migration within their various historical, political, social and cultural contexts. Transcending the physical, the constituents of place and identity embrace the symbolic, the virtual and the metaphorical, thus exposing the complex nature and function of borders and making them appear volatile and elusive. However, borders remain in essence physical barriers which dictate their own discourses marked by impenetrability and rigor. Factors like realpolitik, the despondent culture of fear and difference, the suspicion of the other and the foreign, the denaturalization of familiar spaces and the insularity of cultures and value systems impose new realities on a fragile world vitiated by economic and social constraints. These dynamics affect border zones in remarkable ways and determine how these zones of encounter eventually turn into zones of conflict and contestation. In a Kafkaesque climate of suspicion and anxiety, most narratives of border crossing are literally anti-romantic or simple parodies of the once glamorous and intriguing journeys of crossing and jubilation, for they have now given way to the essentialism of border control, filtering, bureaucracy and manipulation. Devoid of any pleasure principle, these narratives can only reflect the negativity of states and encounters, the horrors of war, bereavement, destruction and desolation. In particular, this paper emphasizes that, regardless of its point of departure or arrival, migration is conditioned by several ideological factors which invariably dominate social perceptions and condition their orientations in dealing with others.
migração; passagem de fronteira; discurso da fronteira; viagens; mobilidade e retórica cultural
Behdad, A. (2005). A forgetful nation: On immigration and cultural identity in the United States. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Gómez-Peña, G. (2008). Border hysteria and the war against difference. The Drama Review, 52 (1), 196-203.
Happer, C. & Philo, G. (2013). The role of the media in the construction of public belief and social change. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 1(1), 321-336.
Jung, C. G. (1985). Dreams (R. F. C. Hull, Trans.). London: Ark Paperbacks.
Noble, D. W. (1967). Historians against history: The frontier thesis and the national covenant in American historical writing since 1830. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Paredes, A. (1991). Between two worlds. Houston: Arte Publico Press.
Schneider, D. (2011). Crossing borders: Migration and citizenship in the twentieth-century United States. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.