Symbolic violence in border crossing – a bodily geopolitics


  • Jouni Häkli University of Tampere, School of Management, Space and Political Agency Research Group


This paper asks how to understand the relationship between symbolism and violence. The issue is tentatively accounted for by proposing two analytically distinguishable ways in which violence relates to symbolism: ‘symbolic domination’ and ‘symbolic violence’. The paper discusses the first in relation to border crossing as a common practice among travelers world wide. It then moves on to looking at how symbolic violence may operate as a more covert but nevertheless influential part of the geopolitical world ordering. By way of concluding the paper briefly discusses the ramifications of these forms of symbolic power when the geopolitical exception is becoming the norm.

How to Cite

Häkli, J. (2015). Symbolic violence in border crossing – a bodily geopolitics. Nordia Geographical Publications, 44(4), 75–80. Retrieved from