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The Counter-interpretation of the Border Cultural Symbol by Transborder Women--A Comparative Case Study of Mexico-the US and Sino-DPRK Border
  • hua shi
hua shi
Shandong University

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This paper compares the transborder wonen on the Sino-DPRK and the US-Mexico border. By focusing on the transborder work and living conditions and the impact of repatriation, it documents that the actual functions of the two boundaries are opposite to the metaphors represented by their physical buildings. The Sino-DPRK border bridges represent the friendship between China and North Korea and the close economic cooperation, the Mexico-US border wall represents the attitude of the US government towards illegal immigrants and the corresponding management measures. However, the wall does not become a taboo for Mexican border crossers, and the bridges cannot play a role in promoting exchanges between China and NK. Mexican trans-border women convert the wall to a bridge through their cross-border activities and close ties with the societies on both sides of the border. Women from NK are subject to strict labor management models, indoctrinated beliefs and a fear of heavy punishment, and thus resist all contact with both the host society and the home country, turning the bridge into a wall in imagery. These two groups, as representatives of the two extremes, indicate the irrelevance between the boundary entity representing the national will and people's trans-border practices.