Manifestations and Contestations of Borders and Boundaries in Everyday Understandings of Integration


  • Carolin Fischer University of Bern, Institute of Social Anthropology



borders, boundaries, practice of everyday life, integration


This article asks how borders and boundaries manifest themselves in understandings of integration. Drawing on qualitative interviews with migrant descendants living in Zürich, Switzerland, it investigates how understandings of integration are experienced, interpreted, appropriated and modified, in relation to either the self or others. I employ de Certeau’s theory of the practice of everyday life to establish how borders and boundaries are reflected in individual meaning-making, perceptions of self and other and the ways in which people situate themselves in society. I demonstrate not only that the interplay between borders and boundaries informs specific aspects of migration governance such as integration policies, but also that people employ tactics based on enunciations of integration to act upon the social position they are allocated as a result of ascribed, racialised markers of difference.

Author Biography

Carolin Fischer, University of Bern, Institute of Social Anthropology

University of Bern, Institute of Social Anthropology, Lerchenweg 363012 Bern Switzerland


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How to Cite

Fischer, C. (2020). Manifestations and Contestations of Borders and Boundaries in Everyday Understandings of Integration. Migration Letters, 17(4), 531–540.