Mapping the Concept(s) of Belonging
Lähdesmäki, T., Ahvenjärvi, K., Hiltunen, K., Jäntti, S., Sääskilahti, N., Saresma, T., & Vallius, A. (2014). Mapping the Concept(s) of Belonging. In S. D. B. Picken, & J. Platt (Eds.), ACAS 2014 / ACCS 2014 : The Fourth Asian Conference on Asian Studies / The Fourth Asian Conference on Cultural Studies : Official Conference Proceedings (pp. 85-99). The International Academic Forum.
© The Authors & IAFOR, 2014.
Various epistemological changes – such as the linguistic, narrative, and cultural turns that have influenced humanistic and social scientific studies since the 1980s – have contributed to the increased academic interest in politics, discourses, processes, and practices of belonging. During the recent decades, the idea of belonging or notbelonging have been discussed and theorized in various fields with diverse parallel and/or overlapping conceptualizations. These include, for example, identity, placemaking, displacement, and their representational, intersectional, and fluid nature. In recent years, several scholars have aimed to discuss the topics framed by the above mentioned concepts and points of view with a new conceptualization: ‘Belonging’ has been operationalized as a theoretical and analytical tool in the investigation of various contemporary forms of communal interaction. This paper explores ‘belonging’ as a scholarly concept with the method of concept analysis. By analysing a selection of recent academic publications in various fields we seek to answer the following questions: What does ‘belonging’ comprise? How is it used and defined in recent research? How does it relate to other similar concepts employed in the studies of belonging? What kind of added value does the concept bring to these studies? As a result, the paper presents tables and figures indicating the diversity in the notions of belonging and the links and relations between it and other related concepts. The paper concludes by discussing the problems and advantages of the concept of belonging in research. ...