Heewon Chang Cultural Border Meaning

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In Re-examining the Rhetoric of the “Cultural Border,” an essay by Heewon Chang. She examines the space between different cultures in a pluralistic society. She identifies the cultural border or boundary, using a quote from F. Erickson, “cultural boundary refers to the presence of some kind of cultural difference…A border is a social construct that is political in origin.” (95) Chang defines “cultural borderland as a ‘space’ created when two or more cultures and races occupy the same territory.” Chang challenges the idea that cultures remain defined by physical or even ideological boundaries. She contends, there is a complete blending of cultures that defies cultural borders and boundaries. Chang uses ethos, logos, and refutation to effectively…show more content…
Heewon Chang expertly uses ethos to propel her argument that most people cannot be defined by a single culture. In the introductory section of her essay she adopts the pronoun “I” when describing her intentions for the essay. She effectively communicates to her audience that she relates to this topic on a personal level when she writes in the first person. She states, “In this essay I attempt to probe into the assumptions of the cultural border rhetoric and assess the underpinning view of culture” (94). After the introduction of the essay she quickly reverts to the third person to show that while she relates to the subject, she also remains a professional scholar. She quotes and paraphrases several intellectuals on the subject of borderlands including D.E. Foley, Associate…show more content…
She clearly and logically illustrates her point of view. She writes, “cultural differences are assumed and expected. But when the cultures of individuals are under scrutiny, it becomes clear that cultural borders do not hold their dividing power.” (98) Combined with her ability to logically expound on her view of cultural borders, she uses several anecdotes to further her point. She identifies four individuals who exemplify multiculturalism. Each of these examples share a Korean heritage but have adopted many other cultural markers from additional sources including non-Korean parents, U.S. society, immigration, and through adoption. Chang poses the question, “Would it be possible for one to become culturally more Korean in the morning, German for lunch, ‘American’ in the afternoon, and back to Korean in the evening? In her conclusion and in answer to that question she states, “Once different standards are embraced by individuals, the differences are incorporated into their individual cultures…the cultural differences are reframed into multiculturalism.”

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