July 13, 2016

BW photograph of a motel being deconstructed as seen through a chain-link fence.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Fences do serve their purpose as a point of very clear, physical demarcation between one and another.  As such, they define where one can and can’t go…

BW photograph of a Gettyburg Battlefield picket fence.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

as well as creating obstacles which, in turn, make it harder to get from here to there.

Several countries in the European Union have adopted the practice of erecting physical barriers as a means of controlling the influx of migrants and refugees.  The “wall” between the U.S. and Mexico would be another example.  Other countries use legal/psychological barriers-the recent Brexit vote, which was driven, in part, by concerns over immigration, present another means by which to achieve the same end.

Conflict Theory states that there is a struggle for the control of valuable resources, which often have to do with wealth, power, and prestige.  Boundaries are then built/enacted so as to clarify who has access and under which circumstances that access is granted.  In the era of climate change, the ownership and control of natural resources, as defined by some type of boundary, are quite contentious-the reports linked here and here are examples.  In those afore linked reports, land and water rights as established by existing state lines are the issue, fundamentally, because of disputes over the exact location of those state borders.

Critical thinking is a key.  Interestingly, it appears that many Brits sought information regarding their participation in the EU after the Brexit vote.  In 2011, Alabama passed one of the “harshest immigration” laws in the country-this article summarizes the subsequent impact of that legislation.

There certainly are reasons to establish boundaries as they are a means of establishing and maintaining order in any society.  They can provide safety and protection, and that, of course, is often a matter of perspective.  However, it is important to take the time for due diligence so as to carefully analyze motives and to make critically informed decisions based on accurate information.

Take care.


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