Self, belonging and social change

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Abstract

One of the central interests of sociology is the relationship between self and society, and in particular how social change affects individuality, constraining or liberating the selves that we can be. This article proposes that because a sense of belonging plays a central role in connecting the person to the social, it can act as a window into studying the relationship between social change and the self. Furthermore, belonging offers a complex person-centred and dynamic approach that avoids reifying social structures, but rather depicts them as actively lived. A focus on belonging thus allows a dynamic examination of the mutual influence between self and society, and of how everyday practices are both regulated and creative, and hence generative of social change. © The Author(s) 2011.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-378
Number of pages15
JournalSociology
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

Keywords

  • belonging
  • self
  • social change

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