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In search of belonging: an analytical framework

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journal contribution
posted on 23.10.2014, 10:45 authored by Marco AntonsichMarco Antonsich
Belonging is a notion both vaguely defined and ill-theorized. Scholars in various social disciplines often take this notion for granted, as if its meaning is somewhat self-explanatory. Others tend to equate it with the notion of identity, citizenship, or both. By relying on a critical reading of an extensive literature across academic disciplines, this study aims to offer an analytical framework for the study of belonging. I argue that belonging should be analyzed both as a personal, intimate, feeling of being ‘at home’ in a place (place-belongingness) and as a discursive resource that constructs, claims, justifies, or resists forms of socio-spatial inclusion/exclusion (politics of belonging). The risk of focusing only on one of these two dimensions is to fall in the trap of either a socially de-contextualized individualism or an all-encompassing social(izing) discourse. The open question is whether the increasing cultural and ethnic diversification of contemporary societies can lead to the formation of communities of belonging beyond communities of identity.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Geography Compass

Volume

4

Issue

6

Pages

644 - 659

Citation

ANTONSICH, M., 2010. Searching for belonging: an analytical framework. Geography Compass, 4 (6), pp.644-659.

Publisher

Blackwell Publishing Ltd (© the author)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2010

Notes

This is the accepted version of the article, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-8198.2009.00317.x

Language

en

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