Nikolaos Fotopoulos, Ifigeneia Vamvakidou, Valentina Gulevska, Elias Michailidis, Andromachi Solaki: Students in the Pedagogic Faculty of the University of Western Macedonia and in the Faculty of Education of the University of Bitola, Describe the Borders

In this study we are trying to examine and expand our views on a border’s significance: in specific we have asked students in the Pedagogic Faculty (Florina) and in the Faculty of Education, Bitola to define by brainstorming the term ‘borders”. We collected 100 definitions and we apply the narrative analysis. When we talk about Brainstorming we refer to the technique Alex Osborn defined in his classic book Applied Imagination (3rd revised edition by the author): “a creative conference for the sole purpose of producing a checklist of ideas – ideas which can serve as leads to problem solution – ideas which can subsequently be evaluated and further processed”.
Theoretical field: Scott See, (University of Maine Libra) Professor of History, invited listeners to consider borders in geographical space, in the history of nations and empires, in human interaction and in the imagination. Distinguishing the border from the borderlands on either side, he illustrated his talk with a series of maps showing the historical evolution of today’s 5,500-mile border between the United States and Canada – the world’s longest international boundary. He suggested a commonality among all people who live in the space along borders, even though it is uncertain where a borderland ends as one moves away from the boundaries between countries. In Houlton, 20 people formed concentric circles at Cary Library to talk about how language, dress, customs and value systems can become “walls.” They examined the concept of “country” and its relationship to personal identity. The  Canadians will always be “over-homers” and some people will always be “from away” until the day they die and the obituary reports where they were from … originally. Immigrant populations begin to view themselves as “locals” as newer immigrants move in and become “the outsiders.”
Methodology: We choose the narrative analysis as narrative “is a basic human way of making sense of the world – we lead ‘storied lives’ (Riessman, 1993), and also is constitutive of reality as well as of identity/subjectivity”. Thus we focus on the link between language and power because: Language is not neutral – the power to name things (Foucault, 1980 on ‘regimes of truth’). We focus on meaning and interpretation as: Who is narrating to whom and to what aim and we are interested in the historical, social and local/interactional context of narration.