Miguel Castro


The modern border concept emerges from the Westphalian Peace. The sovereignty of the State over a territory is delimited by line of political division with territorial expression, which was accepted as indisputable until a few decades ago. Currently, the concept of state suffers two kinds of pressure. On the one hand, we are witnessing a process of affirmation of borders and their shield against the other (s) State (s) or migrations; on the other hand, an ongoing debordering process led both by the European Union and Organizations that have been formed because of economic objectives. Regardless of a bigger or smaller porosity, the border has always been a place for observing and meeting one another. After long periods of time, this interaction leads to the creation of hybrid cultures and complicities are generated by the trade/shopping or other social or political activities. The study of these phenomena has a long tradition in the geographical and sociological literature; however, from the end of the twentieth century, several authors, with different perspectives - structuralist, humanist or culturalist – have focused on the way we see ourselves and evaluate the other, the different one, who is our neighbor but who lives on the other side of the barrier. The Portugal / Spain border, the longest in Europe, has been the target of many works. Sidaway, Amante or Iva Pires have tried to evaluate the feeling of Raianos facing each other from socio-economic data or interviews. In this work, we assess the motivations for the commuting movement of borderer populations (from 400 surveys), essentially focused on cross-border shopping. We conducted 34 interviews with Portuguese and Spanish of a wide range of professions to comprehend the image we build of our neighbors. If trade and leisure/travel are responsible for the movements, the image that the Spanish form of us, Portuguese people, is much more flattering than the reverse. In a moment of rapprochement between populations, due to the elimination of barriers, knowledge of the image that people build of the other also becomes an extremely assertive and an acutely planning tool.


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debordering; Portugal / Spain; border; image of the other


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Copyright (c) 2018 Miguel Castro

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