This dissertation explores the formation of publics in Tijuana, Mexico, across the border from San Diego, California. Through detailed analysis of texts and interactions, I ask how publics cohere through (1) genres of rational debate (i.e. in the tradition of the Habermasian bourgeois public sphere) and (2) genres of hearsay. These two publics represent the split public sphere for which Mexico is known; not only that, they vie for status as national subject: the "middle class," embodying a possible future for Mexico as a proper modern democracy, and the pueblo, enshrined by the Revolution but now again on the wane. The genres of public communication mentioned above are the media through which these collective subjects are not only imagined but inhabited and made a reality on an everyday basis.
But at the border, the public takes shape entirely in relation to US state recognition, as its categories ground social status in general: the public of rational debate imagines itself as documented, in possession of papers to cross the border legally, while the public of hearsay is paradigmatically undocumented. Here, the conundrums facing the articulation of the national "we" are brought to a peak, crystallized in the strange, ambivalent and thoroughly quotidian relation to the US and its state. In Tijuana, practices of passing the border literally and of passing in public for that which one is not are intimately intertwined. These two kinds of 'passing' come together most forcefully in the interview for the US nonimmigrant tourist visa, which, I argue, is key to the territorialized Mexican citizenship that, however contradictorily, anchors the documented public of rational debate. Practices of 'passing' offer a unique perspective on the relation between forms of public communication, processes of state recognition, socioeconomic status and how one manages recognition of it, and long-term projects of self-making—questions that are central not just to the contemporary border, but to any understanding of the public in Mexico or beyond.
|Advisor:||Rutherford, Danilyn, Lomnitz, Claudio|
|Commitee:||Siegel, James, Silverstein, Michael|
|School:||The University of Chicago|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Border city, Mexico, Public sphere, Publics, Self, Status, U.S.-Mexico border, United States-Mexico|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be