Boundaries and Identity in the Age of Globalization


Boundaries are a must to preserve identity. Individuals need a boundary. And so do nations, football fans, and lovers.

There are 2 ways in which a boundary can be violated: 1) Non-members cross over the boundary and enter the “home domain.” 2) The coordinates of the boundary are changed. Or a mixture of both.

Before American Civil War, slave trade kept bringing in non-members until the boundaries of “citizens” burst open (Case I). Then the South tried to redefine the physical borders (Case II) which led to Civil War.

I read the story of a Lebanese shop keeper in Germany who hanged a huge German flag to celebrate Germany’s Soccer Cup victory and… the flag was burnt and torn down by leftists who thought the man had no “right” to celebrate like a “true German.” The Lebanese shop owner was regarded as a non-member passing for a member. An “Uncle Tom” situation perhaps? Depends on who you ask…

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And here is the crisis: this is the age of Globalization. People intermarry. We all travel from one corner of the world to the other, work, and sometimes settle down as well. The group, ethnic, and national boundaries are violated constantly.

The only solution left to remain who we think we are is to live according to an inner identification with an invisible boundary, as summarized by the term “Spirituality.” Yet in this age of Mega Churches, spirituality has also become a membership- and boundary-defining business in a hurry, which brings us back to square one — how are we going to maintain our identity when either the borders are changing constantly or we are shifted back and forth across those boundaries due to globalization?

Psychiatry and law enforcement are the true professions of the future.

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