The True Definition of Borders

What do you think of when you hear the word “border?” Do you think of a wall that separates two distinct societies, blocking their communication and causing cultural differences? Or do you think of an ever-expanding gap amongst the wealthy and impoverished, a gap that requires one to hurdle over a border-like obstacle?

Borders to us were always displayed in a negative light, a divide between two parties; however, something as simple as a classroom wall can present a border. The separation between two classes ensures positive learning by dismissing any distractions.

As we began to dive into the idea of borders, our perception of borders and their purpose in the world was quickly altered. The first source we came across, Borders: A very short introduction truly elaborated on the idea that borders are much more than a geographic barrier. This non-fiction piece challenges that borders aren’t just lines on a map, rather they create necessary economic, social, political and environmental processes that shape everyday life in the world. This piece of work exhibited how borders serve as a blockade in the growth of countries in all their respected aspects.


In the second piece we looked at, The leap to globalization: Creating new value from business without borders, the author observes borders on a global scale. Distinctly illustrated out, author Harry Korine reports on the drawbacks of borders in the field of marketing. In terms of globalization and expanding businesses, the field by which one sells their products needs to open and broad. However, borders can dictate and limit this growth by sectioning off a portion of potential consumers.


It became clear to us that borders not only play a large role in the economic opportunity and stability of the world, but they also play a large component in more personalized dilemmas such as religion. In God’s heart has no borders, author Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo emphasizes the xenophobia and racial prejudices that Muslims faced in the United States following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Here, borders represent much more than a geographic barrier. They represent a divide between an enclosed safe haven, and an alienated culture. Muslims were ridiculed, stereotyped and racially profiled simply for being who they are. All these feelings of animosity had risen in the wake of these attacks. The author’s unique perspective opened our eyes to the possibility that a group of hijackers could build such a large and distinct border that even today Muslims are feeling the ramifications of.

By investigating various viewpoints, it was eminent that borders play a larger role in society than ever could have imagined. To us, borders were simply a divide between a nation and its surrounding countries. One that took hours of waiting in line for, simply to pass through and be on our way. To our surprise, we came to the realization that borders affect everyday life in ways we never thought of.


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