Transfronteridad and Everyday Commuter Negotiations of Tijuana’s Borderscape

Evan Natasha Escamilla
Master Thesis, 2019

The borders between Tijuana and San Diego are often conceptualized as barriers, blocking the movement of people and, perhaps, even culture from traversing. This work, by means of a short historical review, empirical research of the Tijuana–San Diego borders and their functionality, and in depth interviews, explores the interconnection between individuals regularly navigating two nation-states and the borderscape. I argue that the routinized movements of transborder commuters in the borderscape illuminate the political, geographical and historical complexity obscured by the conceptualization of Tijuana and San Diego as disparate nation-states. Transfronteridad as a lens through which to analyze the practices, processes, perspectives and identities of transborder commuters in the borderscape is both exposed by transborder commuters and enabled by them. The renewed zeal for anti-immigrant rhetoric in the US is negatively affecting these transborder flows and the lifestyles of the commuters. This work aims to expose the value of a better understanding of this unique, yet often overlooked, group of people, transborder commuters.

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