Volition of new boundaries, absence of old boundaries?

Publication date:
Yolanda Onghena, Coordinator of the Intercultural Dynamics Programme, CIDOB Foundation

Can we talk of an absence of old boundaries and, at the same time, of a volition for new boundaries? Or is it still the same space, that is, a shared boundary where our similarity is their difference? In this article, the author proposes the boundary as a metaphor to examine its porosity and resistance in a world of increasing mobilities, circulations and flows. This boundary viewed as metaphor continues to exert a desire to distance oneself from others, a distancing that has not gone away in spite of the fact that today’s world is commonly described as a world without boundaries. Nevertheless, mobility and transience impose a need to reinterpret that articulation of the volition of boundaries and their absence, a need to consider interdependence once again, and the way in which we categorise the inside/outside, or the centre and the periphery.

Keywords: Interculturality, boundaries, ethnocentrism, ethnicity, cultural plurality, globalisation, transnationalism