Journal Article — Social Justice Movements as Border Thinking: An Anzaldúan Meditation — by Steve Martinot

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The theme of this article is the implicit and inherent sovereignty that existentially accrues to social justice movements. I argue that movements naturally point to where society or social institutions are undemocratic, and that the resistance to this fact by institutions, their exclusion of movements and the political demands made on them, produce an integrity in movements that they don’t always recognize.

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Abstract

The theme of this article is the implicit and inherent sovereignty that existentially accrues to social justice movements. I argue that movements naturally point to where society or social institutions are undemocratic, and that the resistance to this fact by institutions, their exclusion of movements and the political demands made on them, produce an integrity in movements that they don’t always recognize. As excluded yet interior to the functioning of institutions, and included in the social domain of institutions yet external to them, movements appear as border regions, or border thinking, with respect to social institutionality. Using a homological approach to the works of Gloria Anzaldúa, I investigate what this sovereignty that underlies the existence of movements entails, and signifies. Through that homology as a lens, I look at the various inherent dimensions of social justice movements, their ability to ground alternate political structures, their natural ability to produce pro-democratic operations, and their possibility of bringing together varying strategies that are often held to be incommensurable ideologically.

Recommended Citation

Martinot, Steve. 2006. “Social Justice Movements as Border Thinking: An Anzaldúan Meditation.” Pp. 163-176 in Re-Membering Anzaldúa: Human Rights, Borderlands, and the Poetics of Applied Social Theory: Engaging with Gloria Anzaldua in Self and Global Transformations (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume IV, Special Issue, 2006.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

The various editions of Re-Membering Anzaldúa: Human Rights, Borderlands, and the Poetics of Applied Social Theory: Engaging with Gloria Anzaldua in Self and Global Transformations can be ordered from the Okcir Store and are also available for ordering from all major online bookstores worldwide (such as Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and others).


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