The article emphasizes the issue of a certain loss of topicality of the so far existing understanding of the concept of the 'borderland' resulting from transformations of the contemporary reality. Classical definitions of the 'borderland' mention the phenomenon the author calls a 'stationary borderland' or an 'old borderland', taking absolutely no notice of the group of phenomena or processes distinguished by him and called a 'new borderland' or a 'borderland in motion'. He advances a thesis according to which the importance of 'old' borderlands will gradually but inevitably decrease in certain parts of the world (e.g. in European Union countries) whereas the significance of 'new borderlands' will increase. This situation should be reflected in definitions created by borderland researchers from different fields. These considerations aim at a broader analysis of the present time. The author finds a thread of a very basic classification made by the man into 'our folks' and 'strangers' particularly interesting, and strictly speaking - of the changes that occur in such classifications that lead to the creation of the phenomenon he called a 'vicious circle of identity' with regard to some people. This phenomenon results from the creation of intermediate categories next to the ones existing so far: pure types 'our man' and a 'stranger' are on the decrease whereas 'our man-not-our-man' and 'stranger-no-stranger' - are on the increase.