Politics, Process, Culture and Human Folly: Life among Arizonans and the Reality of a Transborder World

Carlos Velez-Ibanez, Elsie Szecsy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Abstract: In this article we explain the development of anti-Mexican nationalist ideology among Arizona's legislative body and the development of counterpoints of action and resistance and the role the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University is playing locally, regionally, nationally, and transnationally in countering this ideology. It considers that such measures as Arizona SB 1070 law passed by the Arizona legislature in 2010 has historical antecedents early in the development of the Arizona territory in the 19th century. Once Mexican-origin populations became demographically and politically subordinated in the region at that time, numerous measures ensued, which attempted to subordinate much of the cultural, linguistic, and spatial heritage of the population since then. However, in spite of these processes that Mexican-origin populations simultaneously created and became a part of, countervailing linguistic, cultural, and public developments and innovations emerged. Issues of culture, language, and demography that arose by the 1980s provided new impetus leading to new versions of the old political and social histories. We discuss changing political demography resulting from the population increases of Mexican-origin populations in Arizona and fear of political power shifts from non-Mexicans as possibly a factor in the emergence of the most recent versions of anti-Mexican political behavior. We also discuss fresh winds of change in opposition to these developments that emanate from religious, secular, and educational institutions and seem to favor more rationale approaches to resolving issues of legality, migration, and culture. These developments create new cultural and social spaces to address the region's social and political problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-417
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Borderlands Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law


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