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Latine Studies: Student Research

Library resources related to Latine culture, history, literature, visual and performing arts.

About

Bennington College senior projects, works, and theses, 2011 - 

Mírame: See Beyond What You’re Told - a Media Analysis of How the Immigrant Population is Represented and the Effects those Perceptions Bring by Jacqueline Escobar, 2022

Mírame: See Beyond What You’re Told - a Media Analysis of How the Immigrant Population is Represented and the Effects those Perceptions Bring by Jacqueline Escobar, 2021

The review will analyze effects and consequences of the common perceptions of undocumented and detained immigrants in the United States and at the U.S. - Mexico Border. Doing this by taking a look into a wide range of mainstream media sources such as political speeches, popular marketing, news sources, tv shows, etc. This review will hopefully uncover what kind of stereotypes are being perpetuated and what themes are the most common portrayals of undocumented and detained immigrants. Doing this will hopefully shine a light on an important issue and potentially change the way people are portrayed and perceived.

Exploration of Machismo Culture and Mental Health Stigma Among First-Generation College Students by Savannah Hernandez, 2021

Exploration of Machismo Culture and Mental Health Stigma Among First-Generation College Students by Savannah Hernandez, 2021

In the United States, around 31.4% million people of immigrants are from Latino countries. Children of these immigrants experience biculturalism -the experience of having two different cultures simultaneously shaping one’s identity. In immigrants, Latino men struggle with the demands of integrating expectations of the Anglo culture and their heritage culture into their identities. For Latino men, Machismo culture- well known in Latino countries–- plays a significant role in culture and identity. Machismo in short can be described as toxic masculinity/excessive masculine pride. Simultaneously, having the expectations of Machismo culture and Anglo culture, how do Latino men experience mental health stigma in a college setting? With lack of research within Machismo culture and perception of mental health within bicultural identity, shifts need to be made in order for inclusivity in psychology to thrive and to improve the well-being of Latino men in their communities.

Ni de Aquí, Ni de Allá: The Impact of Bilingualism and Identity on the Social Development of Children of Latinx Immigrants in Austin, TX and Surrounding Regions by Malhy Guadalupe Mendez, 2021

Ni de Aquí, Ni de Allá: The Impact of Bilingualism and Identity on the Social Development of Children of Latinx Immigrants in Austin, TX and Surrounding Regions by Malhy Guadalupe Mendez, 2021

Language is the result of social, economic, and political pressures, historical accidents, and complex arrangements. Identity is the manner of being one’s authentic self. How does the relationship between these two concepts impact social development? This essay will be built on work done over Summer 2020 with the involvement of the Latinx immigrant community in Austin, TX, and surrounding regions. Children of Latinx immigrants grow up in a liminal space between two cultures – their parents’ home countries’ culture and the United States culture. By highlighting the influential factors these concepts have on social development, this essay explores the relationship between bilingualism and identity, and the impact they carry on the social development of children of Latinx immigrants. As the Latinx community continues to rapidly grow in the United States, it is important to explore and begin to comprehend the complexity that growing up in two different cultures affects social development. This essay will explore how social development impacts the development of code-switching abilities and morphosyntax in social settings of the usage of English, Spanish, and Spanglish. I will explore these questions through online interviews with members of this community and analyzing free speech components and code-switched fragmented sentences in English and Spanish. The findings of this research indicate that perceived discrimination, social and linguistic, impact the relationship between language, identity, and belonging in children of Latinx immigrants.

¡Presentes? by Sebastián Carrillo, 2021

¡Presentes? by Sebastián Carrillo, 2021

This senior work holds a short story and a critical introduction for a larger piece of work. This piece dwells through topics of Latin American history and theory, literature and philosophy, and the individual and the collective. Overall, it proposes a road to make literature and then executes it through and example.

Subnational Responses to the Global Freshwater Crisis: An Assessment of Water Governance in California (USA) and Jalisco (Mexico) by Ivan Orozco, 2020

Subnational Responses to the Global Freshwater Crisis: An Assessment of Water Governance in California (USA) and Jalisco (Mexico) by Ivan Orozco, 2020

This paper focuses primarily on promoting water governance at the subnational level by comparing two sister states based on their structure of institutions, politics, economics and the nature of their water complications. While most literature considers technical aspects of water research, comparative, on-the-ground research in the subnational states of California (United States) and Jalisco (Mexico) demonstrates that negative perceptions of water management is usually driven by perceived inattention or a lack of financial commitment, suggesting that we need to pay more attention to implementation of policy, over the idea of policy.

Food Tastes Better if it is Pretty by Marie Morelos-Roths, 2020

Food Tastes Better if it is Pretty by Marie Morelos-Roths, 2020

Recipes on how to eat your favourite Mexican icons! Food, gender, violence are all connected in the modern version on colonialism.

Ojalá Que Te Vaya Bonito: A Collection of Thoughts on Women, Mexico and Existence by Maria José Orozco Santos, 2020

Gendering the Latin American Dairy Farmworker by Ivett Martinez, 2019

Gendering the Latin American Dairy Farmworker by Ivett Martinez, 2019

In 2010 there was an estimated 10,000 undocumented migrants living in the state of Vermont. As organization efforts continue to advocate for migrant rights in the state, considerations for how gender shapes migrant labor in Vermont is defined through Rosa’s perspective. Rosa is a mother, farmworker, and member of a global family. Interactions with her through the translation of documents provide an entry point to further understand the constructions of gender and its implications on labor in isolated settings, such as rural Vermont dairy farms. This is the result of not only legal norms, but also gendered norms in cultures from the Global South. Understanding Latina dairy farmworker’s conditions, who often go unrecognized due to their limited accesses to the public political discourse of immigration, will influence our local governments future protections for migrants.

An Analysis of the Impact of U.S.Foreign Policies on the State of Human Rights in Cuba by Raquel Saldia Marquez, 2019

An Analysis of the Impact of U.S.Foreign Policies on the State of Human Rights in Cuba by Raquel Saldia Marquez, 2019

My thesis is provides analysis of the impact of U.S. foreign policies on the the state of human rights in Cuba. My analysis provides a balanced review that accounts for various perspectives on the communist regime and U.S. Cuba policies. 

Waking Up from the American Dream : The Lives of First-Generation, Low-Income, and Working Class College Students by Jocelyn Salcedo, 2018

Waking Up from the American Dream : The Lives of First-Generation, Low-Income, and Working Class College Students by Jocelyn Salcedo, 2018

The literature describes the experience of first-generation, low-income, and working-class students in higher education as an alienating experience, where students consider themselves cultural outsiders due to their lack of exposure to middle-class norms. The objective of my thesis is to bring such experiences to light and examine how they structure the student’s college experiences socially, culturally, and academically. Furthermore, I analyze the narratives of self, constructed around their first-generation, low-income, and working-class identities, and the role they plan in their cultural assimilation and opportunities of upward social mobility. The intention of my work is not to render all personal occurrences into a general experience, but to shed a light on the most prominent obstacles first-generation, low-income, and working-class students face, and bring these invisible issues into our discussion of what higher education is and what it should be.

"Estoy esperando todavía" : Un Estudio con las Mujeres Nicaragüenses en la Frontera de Costa Rica by Rebecca Elaine Green, 2017

"Estoy esperando todavía" : Un Estudio con las Mujeres Nicaragüenses en la Frontera de Costa Rica by Rebecca Elaine Green, 2017

This project combines previously conducted interviews with Nicaraguan migrant women and a critical analyses of the history and effects of neoliberal economic policies on their everyday lives. An exploration of regional acts of resistance follows as an example of what is and can be done in order to combat the harmful effects of this type of globalization.

Mint Use As A Measurement For The Current Status of Mapuche Medicine in Northwestern Patagonia by Tess Morrison, 2016

Mint Use As A Measurement For The Current Status of Mapuche Medicine in Northwestern Patagonia by Tess Morrison, 2016

Medicine as a cultural system constantly adapts to the changing needs and desires of people. However, when cultures of medicine manifest as health systems negotiated between scholars, professionals, and the public, the needs and desires of people are difficult to define. Accordingly, medical systems are divided in how they address public health. People, though, also have agency in what medicine they use, and it is not always one-dimensional. People’s health beliefs and the choices they make to improve their health defy expected systems of health care. While the infrastructures, policies, and philosophies of biomedicine and traditional medicine may be clearly delineated, people’s perceptions of them in regards to their own health are not necessarily so. This research aims to unfold how Mapuche people perceive health and how this aligns or doesn’t align with ascribed systems of biomedicine and traditional medicine, respectively. Since this task is hardly accomplishable in a direct manner given the historical and cultural complexity of this debate, mint is used as a case study in order to reveal current health perceptions, patterns, and paradigms of people. By following the use of this one herb that is used by both cultures, this research guides our understanding of how two sets of cultural practices might inform each other or find that they hold more similarities than might be expected. In light of concerns of medicinal cultural misappropriation and bioprospecting of medicinal plants, this research promotes the necessity for an actualization of our medicinal beliefs in order to clarify our goals in medicine.

Latino Community Outreach at Bennington College : a Comparative Study of Vermont Colleges by Celene V. Barrera, 2015

Latino Community Outreach at Bennington College : a Comparative Study of Vermont Colleges by Celene Barrera, 2015

An exploration through various Latino community outreach programs in Vermont colleges. Given the current state of immigration policy, which perpetuates a state of fear and unrest within the Latino (especially undocumented) community, it has been suggested that outreach programs, such as those organized by colleges, can help alleviate this stress. This study first looks at the history of immigration and the rise of the temporary undocumented worker in the United States, and then moves into dairy farming in Vermont. It profiles Bennington College's GANAS organization, which has been actively working to foster community and provide services to the Latino community, with an emphasis on migrant farmworkers who are in nearby dairy farms. Furthermore, in order to more closely analyze the GANAS model, the study also uses other Vermont colleges, including Middlebury College, Sterling College, and the University of Vermont as examples of other models of community engagement.

Do You Know What You Are Drinking? Kinship and Labor in the Production of Fair-Trade Coffee by Rebecca Reategui, 2016

Do You Know What You Are Drinking? Kinship and Labor in the Production of Fair-Trade Coffee by Rebecca Reategui, 2016

Since the beginning of the fair trade movement, there has been an emphasis on ethically produced, directly sourced, and environmentally sustainable products. Fair trade standards and regulations are detailed and strict so they often dictate labor standards on fair trade coffee farms. Additionally, due to fair trade’s problems and conundrums this work investigates the efficacy of the movement and the steps it can take to continue to generate change. By looking critically at the labor required for fair trade and organic farming in Northern Peru, this thesis investigates the production of fair trade coffee and its dependence on family and community labor.

La cognición bilingüe : los efectos del idioma en el entendimiento cognitivo de la consciencia de los niños by Eden M. Temple, 2013

La cognición bilingüe : los efectos del idioma en el entendimiento cognitivo de la consciencia de los niños Eden M. Temple, 2013

Este es un estudio multicultural enfocándose en el idioma y explorando la hipótesis que los niños que hablan inglés van a progresar por las fases de desarrollo de la consciencia de Jean Piaget más rápidamente que los niños hispanohablantes. Catorce niños fueron entrevistados, nueve niños hispanohablantes y cinco niños que hablan inglés entre los cinco y los ocho años de edad. Nuestra hipótesis fue confirmada, tentativamente, por este experimento. Parece que esto se debe más al ambiente del hogar del niño que sus entendimientos sociales y lingüísticos del animismo. La teoría piagetiana puede darnos más información sobre la manera en que los niños conceptualizan el mundo. Los resultados de más investigaciones pueden darnos métodos de terapia para niños, expandir nuestro entendimiento de las estructuras de lógica interna de niños, y pueden ayudar a los Estados Unidos a servir mejor a nuestra población bilingüe.

Instructions 
for
 Crossing 
the 
Border by Luis Humberto Crosthwaite, translated by Lani DePonte, 2011

Instructions for Crossing the Border by Luis Humberto Crosthwaite translated by Lani DePonte, 2011

In the short stories of this collection there is a wide range of narrative voice, subject matter, and style choice reflecting the diversity of the border culture. But beneath each vastly different story runs the same current: Crosthwaite, in many different circumstances, pits reality against el sueño—or the American dream. He juxtaposes the disillusionment of that nearly impossible dream against the acceptance and appreciation of one’s home and within that, the effects of that dynamic on the entire border culture. The text is saturated with references to pop culture in the United States, but often returns to the popular music of Mexico. The dividing line in each story is palpable, whether it is acutely described or emotionally evoked. The quotidian collides with the surreal.

Mi Nombre Es: An Analysis on the Community's Influence, Understanding, and Response to Feminicidios by Daniela Naranjo-Zarate, 2021

Mi Nombre Es: An Analysis on the Community's Influence, Understanding, and Response to Feminicidios by Daniela Naranjo-Zarate, 2022

What are femicidios and why is their extent in Mexico significant? How do the government, media, and cultural norms legitimize or exacerbate femicides? How do feminicidios affect the community? How can they be stopped?

Purple Handprints: Trauma and Femicide in the Americas by Stevie Martinez-Farias, 2021

Purple Handprints : Trauma and Femicide in the Americas by Stevie Martinez-Farias, 2021

Trauma theory has stemmed from the psychological realm and has been integrated into anthropological studies of understanding cultures and societies. Yet, it is still widely unknown how trauma affects and shapes the way a culture has thrived for centuries and internalized that trauma to become one different than how it was before. This thesis primarily focuses on trauma theory utilizing an anthropological lens of understanding how, in Latin America, the effects of deeply embedded patriarchal systems have evolved into normalized expectations of gender through the instillment of machismo and marianismo enforced in culture to men and women, and how this additionally correlates to the rise in femicides in the past three decades. This thesis also criticizes the erasure of gendered violence through the lack of concern or intervention by government and media that allows the continued senseless slaughter of women and girls. It explores the concept of collective trauma, power dynamics, and our understanding of gender inequality to pursue a future in which femicide and gendered violence are diminished. Through this work, I show how the root of unresolved trauma as a result of societal pressures is interconnected with our growing understanding of femicide as a whole.

¿Me Traerás Frijoles?: Cultural Food Adaptation in the GANAS Community Jailynne Estevez Nolasco, 2021

¿Me Traerás Frijoles? : Cultural Food Adaptation in the GANAS Community by Jailynne Estevez Nolasco, 2021

List of Maps -- Introduction -- Chapter 1. Hispanic Immigrants in New England?: The make-up of migrant/undocumented in Vermont and New York State -- Chapter 2. What impact does border as a zone have on migrant/undocumented individuals in our GANAS community? -- Chapter 3. From the perspective of our GANAS community, how can a resilient community food system be established?

The Well of Untapped Potential: Investigating the Restorative Capabilities of American Corporations by Diego Macarrulla, 2021

The Well of Untapped Potential : Investigating the Restorative Capabilities of American Corporations by Diego Macarrulla, 2021

Every October, a river of coffee beans begins to trickle into Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico. This river is composed of approximately thirty thousand Guatemalan coffee farmers who make the pilgrimage every year from their home country to Chiapas to sell their harvest. For many, this is all that separates them from hunger until their next season. (Telemundo 2016) A number of coffee bean exporters are located in Chiapas, and in order to profit from their harvest that year, many coffee farmers must make this trip annually. In order to ensure sustenance and other important resources for their families, farmers in this area must get their harvest to Chiapas. Once there, these farmers often sell their beans to exporters or other sorts of middlemen who pay them a lower price than market value. This process has the effect of making it very difficult to generate sufficient profits while running a small scale coffee farm.

Archiving the Crossing: Migration, Borders and Memory by Valeria Abigail Sibrian Quijada, 2021

Archiving the Crossing: Migration, Borders and Memory by Valeria Abigail Sibrian Quijada, 2021

The U.S./Mexico border has a long and complicated history. It is a place where many place their hopes, no matter how deadly the journey has become. In recent history, the border has become increasingly hostile to those seeking asylum in the United States. Many have experienced this journey, yet as a nation there has been a struggle to understand and preserve the history of migration. In this thesis we will be taking a closer look at the history of migration of the Salvadorean Diaspora from the 1970s to the present and the ways we have failed to remember and archive this history in ways that preserve the experiences these communities have lived. What would it mean to create an archive of the border landscape? How can archiving allow for the creation of an emotional landscape that represents the complexity of the border? What would the preservation of memories look like in an archive?

Descorazonadas: Una Crónica Sobre la Violencia Contra las Mujeres en Ecuador by Doménica Montaño Moncayo, 2020

Descorazonadas : Una Crónica Sobre la Violencia Contra las Mujeres en Ecuador by Doménica Montaño Moncayo, 2020

Investigative journalism article about the issue of normalized violence against women in Ecuador. The article explores the stories of women who have experienced violence, the existing and non existing laws that protect women in Ecuador, and some key statistics about the reality of gender violence in the country. (Article is written in Spanish) Artículo de investigación periodística sobre la normalización de la violencia contra la mujer en Ecuador. La investigación explora las historias de varias mujeres que han experimentado violencia de género, las leyes existentes y no existentes que protegen a las mujeres en Ecuador, y estadísticas sobre la realidad de la violencia de género en el país. (El artículo está escrito en Español)

Big City Dreams: Gentrification in Mexico City’s Colonia Roma by Javier Fernando Lopez Guevara, 2020

Big City Dreams: Gentrification in Mexico City’s Colonia Roma by Javier Fernando Lopez Guevara, 2020

The aim of this paper is to explore the ways in which urban planning and gentrification have affected the lives of the inhabitants of Mexico City and the socioeconomic dynamics that they live through. The focus of my research is the once-and-again affluent neighborhood known as Colonia Roma. As such, the paper will be divided into five sections, starting with a literature review concerning the history of urban planning in Mexico City and the ways in which Colonia Roma is emblematic of historical trends of exclusion. The third and fourth sections draw from my own ethnographic research in the neighborhood and its surrounding areas; therein, I analyze data collected from conversations and participant observations to gain new insights in how the socio economic landscape of this iconic area has and will continue to change, and what this can tell us about gentrification and social inequality.

Who is Being Spoken To? Towards an Understanding of the Creation of Unintended Audiences by María Laura Joa Domínguez, 2020 

Who is Being Spoken To? Towards an Understanding of the Creation of Unintended Audiences by María Laura Joa Domínguez, 2020

The creation of unintended audiences is something that has not been widely discussed in academic discourse. From speaking different languages to the creation of safe spaces, we create unintended audiences the moment we address a specific group of listeners. This paper focuses on 3 theories of audience creation and how each one of them creates unintended audiences through the medium of political speech, alongside potential reasons for the creation of unintended audiences, and future research in the field. This paper argues that these areas, Audience Design Theory, Code-Switching, and Safe Spaces, are all intertwining parts of a bigger field of the creation of unintended audiences.

Chicanx Art : Social Theories and Cultural Identities by Caroline Roque, 2017

Chicanx Art : Social Theories and Cultural Identities by Caroline Roque, 2017

The Mexican Mural Movement was a pivotal movement in the slow creation of what is now relatively known as Chicanx Art. The movement, along with racial cases that occurred in Southern California, all of which date from the Mexican Mural Movement to the Civil Rights Movement, became a catalyst for the creation of the Chicano Civil Movement in Los Angeles, during the 1950s & 60s and brought forth influential activists: Carlos Almaraz, Charles "Chaz" Bojórquez, Melesio Casas, Frank Romero, Yreina Cervántez, and Patssi Valdez, some of whom are still unrecognized Chicanx artists who helped the Chicano Civil Movement through their art collectives and previously unpopular art techniques. These artists, along with the Chicanx Art Movement, are often forgotten, and seen as irrelevant, as both movements occurred during the same time. The Chicano Art Movement explored new methods of Chicanx Art as the Chicanx identity became prominent, and with it different forms of self-identification. These six artists broke barriers and stigmas within their own culture in terms of what is typically regarded as “Chicano Art” in the art community and have critically addressed issues that are relevant and continue to plague the Chicanx community. Through the exploration of the beginnings of what is now known as Chicanx Art and the use of social theories and analysis of the Chicanx identity, this thesis explores the different ways these six artists explore their cultural and social identities in their work, while critically debunking several stereotypes and addressing the complexity of Chicanx Art.

Hablar por las proporciones: El silencio analógico en Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz by Patrick Harnett-Marshall, 2016

Hablar por las Proporciones: El silencio analógico en Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz by Patrick Harnett-Marshall, Patrick 2016

In her long poem Primero sueño, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz uses silence as a theme to describe the boundaries of knowledge. In her prose letter Respuesta a Sor Filotea she protests the silencing of women in academia. In this thesis I argue that in both works Juana Inés employs silence to predicate human life in the unknown, just as the silent speaker is predicate to voice. Based on this, I question modern interpretations of her work as hyperbolizing the sacred through iteration and appropriation of patriarchal and imperial doctrine. With analyses of the Sueño and the Respuesta as well as El divino Narciso, I instead propose that Sor Juana's feminism is rooted in the Christian idea of the preeminence of justice before existence, including a study of Sor Juana's analogism as example.

Quinoa Boom or Bust : Understanding how Bolivia Quinoa Producers Navigate Through Change  by Yudong Liu, 2015

Quinoa Boom or Bust : Understanding How Bolivia Quinoa Producers Navigate Through Change by Yudong Liu, 2015

Concerns over the quinoa boom focus on the negative social and environmental consequences of the increased exportation of organic quinoa by Bolivian producers to markets in wealthier countries. These threats range from the increasing unaffordability of quinoa for Bolivians to the decline of traditional labour relationships in favour of wage labour, to declining soil health. However, interviews with Bolivians in the quinoa economy that I conducted this winter showed me that many of the negative consequences were overstated or more ambiguous than thought according to their experiences. Quinoa producers have developed an independent and empowered position through history and it is within their ability to deal with most of these consequences.To producers, the quinoa boom is useful not for the sake of the profits to be made. What it has done is strengthen the position of their livelihoods as traditional, organic quinoa producers and to ease the way if their children, as they hope, continue down the same path.

Alliances of Chalk: State Identity, NAFTA, and the Mexican War on Drugs by Benjamin James Margetic, 2015

Alliances of Chalk : State Identity, NAFTA, and the Mexican War on Drugs by Benjamin James Margetic, 2015

This paper contends that state identity has played an important role in Mexico's war against drug trafficking organizations (DTO). It argues that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) altered Mexico's state identity, bringing it in line with the United States. This resulted in the construction of the DTOs as a threat to national security and confrontation as the only viable policy option. It concludes by expanding on the ways in which trade agreements can impact policies of national security.

The Subverted Detective: Order and the Unfathomable in the Work of Roberto Bolaño  by Emma del Valle, 2013

The Subverted Detective : Order and the Unfathomable in the Work of Roberto Bolaño by Emma del Valle, 2013

Roberto Bolaño’s literary universe is peopled by obsessive readers. Their lives are sent spinning off course by books: they chase authors through pages and newspaper archives and foreign countries; they are driven to the edge of sanity by books, and take a moment to observe the local flora and fauna before they jump; they meet and form cults, literary movements, love affairs among themselves; they plagiarize, fetishize, and feverishly analyze; they assemble and recite the names of authors to form a nightmare litany or a holy canon. They become amateur detectives in search of their vanished idols, crossing paths with the many real police inspectors and private investigators already stalking Bolaño’s equally ubiquitous violent criminals. But for all of the searching that goes on in these books, people keep on disappearing. Characters have a habit of dissolving into thin air. Perhaps they reappear again, in the most unlikely places and rarely in the same country in which they were last seen, but more often than not, when we read Bolaño, we are adrift in a confusing world of ghosts and profusion, always finding our narrators slipping away into the ether or getting lost in the crowd, always grasping for a lifeline.

Costa Rica y Nicaragua: La Teoria de una Frontera Real by Julia Elise Bonaventure, 2012

Costa Rica y Nicaragua : la teoria de una frontera real  Julia Elise Bonaventure, 2012

This study uses a series of interviews conducted in Costa Rica with Nicaraguan migrants to answer two related questions about border theory: Is there a way to reconcile the study of border theory with an investigation of a contemporary border, and how accurately does border theory describe the human experience of living there? I believe that the reconciliation of theory and investigation is necessary in part because border theory often implies that it is challenging, or impossible, for the self (the academic, in many cases) to study the other (the inhabitant of a border) without subjugating and articulating such alterity. The theory argues that because the self is understood only in comparison to the other, who represents everything the self is not, it unavoidably articulates what the other is and is not, denying agency. In order to avoid articulating the other, this project combines theory with first-hand narrative to construct a more complete understanding of a modern border that includes the voice of the marginalized. The interviewees were asked to share their own story of immigration, and their personal experience as the other. They were also asked about their understanding of the issues underlying the tension raised by the border between the two countries. In order todetermine the accuracy with which border theory describes the reality experienced by those who live with borders, the paper includes quotes from the interviewed that were then analyzed through the existing theory. I found that the theory is often useful for the purpose of explaining the underlying themes and concepts of the narratives, and for putting them into a larger, universal context. However, border theory serves little practical purpose unless applied to investigative experience. That is, without combining the theory with investigation and first-hand narrative, the theory cannot be expected to fully convey the human experience of a border.