The Borderlands Theory

Please be sure to:

1) Read the two readings uploaded and respond to the prompt below.

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2) Make a post answering the prompt in about 150-200 words.

3) Respond to another person’s post for someone who had the same prompt as you.

Here is the Prompt:
– What similarities and/or differences do Queer Theory (Risman chapter) and Borderlands Theory (Hurtado and Sinha chapter) have?

Here are two posts from other students, choose ONE to respond to:
1. Both Queer Theory and Borderlands Theory go beyond analyzing intersectionality. Queer Theory posits sexuality as central to our conceptualization of gender. Meanwhile Borderlands theory refers specifically to creating a space to highlight where cultures and social systems can intertwine without conflict.
Risman addresses queer theory to how this theory “…destabilizes the assumed naturalness of gender and sexual categories and brings a frame to gender studies that focuses on how social practices produce the categories we take for granted”  (26, 2018).  Queer theorists examine the categories of male and female, gay and straight, etc to see how they are in fact created, sustained and undone. It creates the idea that we can deconstruct these categories and moving beyond gender itself. 
Hurtado and Sinha (44, 2016) explain how this concept refers to the “la frontera (the border)” where Chicanas can be the most flexible in hybridity, since people living here are not living in the United States or Mexico.  Instead, chicanas here can adapt social and cultural behaviors, languages and values from both of these countries to help make up their identities. Borderlands can serve as an idea that cultural assimilation does not exist and instead antithetical elements can beautifully coexist and combine in unexpected ways to make up a person’s identity. This theory helps chicanas develop a sense of self and knowledge about the conflicting cultural and social words that clash within Mexico and the United States. Because of their cultural and social elements that they have chosen for themselves from the United States and Mexico, it causes a lack of acceptance from both the Untied States and Mexico. The Borderlands Theory allows Chicana feminists to take a stance and hold multiple perspectives while still challenging the idea that oppression is not static and rather a fluid concept that takes on many forms depending on the context. The Borderlands theory allows Chicana women to resist the idea of assimilation with the oppression they face from the United States and Mexico. 

2. Queer Theory and Borderlands Theory are both used to further understand and analyze gender and sexuality. Queer Theory goes beyond intersectional analysis by positing sexuality as, “central to our very conceptualization of gender” (Risman, p.25). On the other hand, Borderlands Theory helps explain a particular type of consciousness, where border crossings contribute to political understandings of various social formations and influences Intersectional Social Identities, which is identified by master statuses of sexuality, gender, class, race, ethnicity, and physical ableness (Hurtado & Sinha, 2016). These theories are also similar as they both work to develop an understanding of social reality and social practices. Queer Theory can be used as a critical lens to examine how gender and sexuality influences and is influenced by social structures and social categories and constructs. Whereas Borderlands Theory can be used to understand the social psychological functioning of individuals with Intersectional Identities. Borderlands Theory also focuses on the study of privilege when Social Identities, where Queer Theory focuses on understanding how categories of sexual identities themselves are created, sustained and can be broken. As discussed in lecture and within our chapter reading both theories are instrumental for social action.

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