Living with invisible borders: Migrant Latino youth vs power and rule in East Baltimore

Authors: Melisa Arganaraz*, University of Maryland - Baltimore County
Topics: Urban Geography, Political Geography
Keywords: Children's Geographies
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Bacchus, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Representation within the social practices of everyday life for migrant youth in urban spaces are connected with forms of domination and resistance which are nested within and productive of the play of power (Lefebvre, 1991; Sharp et al., 2000). Migrant youth bestow space and place with meanings, uses, and values. Such differences can give rise to tensions and conflicts within society over the uses of space for individual and social purposes and over the domination of space by the state and other forms of dominating social power (Lefebvre, 1991). Based on exploratory research, I intend to highlight the complex realities of migrant youth in Baltimore. Migrant youth mobilities are not just constrained by urban policies on “the control of spatiality” (Massey, 1998), but they are also challenged by the community in their local environments when managing urban spaces. Different discourses encompassing media, urban developers, residents and the migrant youth themselves intersect on topics like race, illegality, criminality, safety, housing and revitalization of neighborhoods. These discourses, at the same time, collide with contrasting “city image” discourses that picture Baltimore as a multicultural city as well as a troubled city. Migrant youth might find themselves not just within physical urban invisible borders in their neighborhoods but also social borders that do not allow them to integrate and adapt to the city. These findings have significant implications for understanding of how physical neighborhood boundaries work between communities, how migrant young people create spaces, and the role of the local government in their integration.

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