Cultures and Practices of Belonging
Belonging is a word that seems to speak about boundaries, it gives us a ‘home’ but it also can erect ‘walls’. In a culture defined by individual possessions (or belongings) it is not easy to imagine that physical things can belong to more than one person or not belong to anyone.
Belonging also seems to define cultural and political boundaries: if I say that I belong here, it is automatically implied that I do not belong there. However, the concept of belonging is not always applied in a coherent manner in today’s world; in a globalised culture and economy, the idea of belonging seems to remain unquestioned when it comes to the movement of capital and goods in a free market, but it is put at the forefront when it comes to the free movement and settlement of people.
The idea of belonging seems to be particularly problematic when dealing with geopolitical decisions, transnational issues about resources and globalised problems such as climate change and conservation.