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Understanding belonging provides a better insight into the structural, political, cultural and gendered elements of entrepreneurship. This paper aims to focus on Mexican…
Understanding belonging provides a better insight into the structural, political, cultural and gendered elements of entrepreneurship. This paper aims to focus on Mexican female entrepreneurs’ (MFE) experiences in managing material and affective aspects of entrepreneurial belonging during the start-up and transition phase to become an established business owner.
The narrative analysis is based on qualitative interview data with 11 MFE in Mexico.
The analysis reveals that MFEs’ sense of belonging evolves from self-oriented to more socially-oriented identity claims. In the former, the need to “fit in” and achieve material aspects of belonging is intertwined with gender and family responsibilities. In the latter, the need to “stand out” and achieve affective aspects of belonging is intertwined with validating entrepreneurial achievements by challenging gendered assumptions and helping others through the notion of “sisterhood.”
The paper extends the understanding of the relation of material and affective aspects of belonging as an “evolving” process from the nascent stage to the established stage of entrepreneurship. Within the evolving process of entrepreneurial belonging, a shift from material to affective aspects unveils a theoretical framework that relates belonging, gender and entrepreneurship in context. This process seems to regulate entrepreneur’s agency in what they interpret as acceptable while standing up against challenges and legitimizing belonging through the emergence of a “sisterhood.”
Purpose – In this chapter I engage with central debates in sociology regarding ways of thinking about identity, belonging and diversity. The purpose is to provide a…
Purpose – In this chapter I engage with central debates in sociology regarding ways of thinking about identity, belonging and diversity. The purpose is to provide a critical engagement with the problems involved, at both a conceptual and political level and to suggest ways forward.
Approach – I critically examine and compare the notions of belonging and identity, both as conceptual tools and how they are embedded in political discourses, particularly on issues of diversity. I also examine diversity and superdiversity and propose a translocational lens as a useful means for rethinking the issues involved, both conceptually and politically.
Findings – Belonging and identity can be seen as part of the same ‘family’ of concepts, and while both are used politically in similar ways, belonging enables a greater engagement with place and location and the structural and contextual facets of social life. Notions of diversity and superdiversity are highly normative, and an intersectional and translocational analysis is proposed.
Social Implications – It is suggested that dominant notions of belonging, identity and diversity essentialize and perpetuate social boundaries of otherness and that those policies that use such notions, particularly integration policies, fail to address issues of participation, access and parity, which are necessary for the development of an inclusionary society.
Originality – The chapter engages critically with important issues of theory and practice and contributes to the development of theoretical tools for understanding central issues of social and political debate. It develops a ‘translocational’ lens for understanding social divisions in society.
Purpose – This chapter examines the problem of belonging for Muslims in the United States in a political environment where Muslims are increasingly represented as a…
Purpose – This chapter examines the problem of belonging for Muslims in the United States in a political environment where Muslims are increasingly represented as a threatening ‘other’ by conservative politicians and right-wing media. The goal is to demonstrate how an emotionally charged event, the murder of three middle class Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 2015, was taken up by the media in ways that reflected sharply contested political agendas and constituted divergent stories and biographies of belonging and stigmatization for the victims, their families and the broader Muslim community.
Approach – The research draws on a wide range of media representations of the murder, including local, national and international news sources and social networking sites. The analysis is based on close readings of this range of stories.
Social Implications – The analysis demonstrates that this murder drew widespread attention in the Muslim community because these particular victims readily became representative of a Muslim ‘model minority’. Despite the ambivalence associated with belonging on such terms, the families and Muslim community used the stories of these murder victims to speak out against negative stereotypes and to remind the American public of the dangers of inflammatory rhetoric.
Originality – The chapter takes an original approach to the problem of belonging by tracing in detail how a single event can generate divergent stories that mark their narrators as belonging in ways that are contested by others, vividly demonstrating the process of différance articulated by Derrida.
This duoethnography explores feelings of belonging that emerged as being relevant to the participants of a doctoral organisational change study. It challenges the prolific…
This duoethnography explores feelings of belonging that emerged as being relevant to the participants of a doctoral organisational change study. It challenges the prolific change management models that inadvertently encourage anti-belonging.
A change management practitioner and her doctoral supervisor share their dialogic reflections and reflexivity on the case study to open new conversations and raise questions about how communicating belonging enhances practice. They draw on Ubuntu philosophy (Tutu, 1999) to enrich Pinar's currere (1975) for understandings of belonging, interconnectedness, humanity and transformation.
The authors show how dialogic practice in giving employees a voice, communicating honestly, using inclusive language and affirmation contribute to a stronger sense of belonging. Suppressing the need for belonging can deepen a communication shadow and create employee resistance and alienation. Sharing in each other's personal transformation, the authors assist others in better understanding the feelings of belonging in organisational change.
Practitioners will need to challenge change initiatives that ignore belonging. This requires thinking of people as relationships, rather than as numbers or costs, communicating dialogically, taking care with language in communicating changes and facilitating employees to be active participants where they feel supported.
For both practice and academy, this duoethnography highlights a need for greater humanity in change management practices. This requires increasing the awareness and understanding of an interconnectedness that lies at the essence of belonging or Ubuntu (Tutu, 1999).
The purpose of this paper is to explore belonging in relation to postgraduate wellbeing in the light of renewed concerns about the mental health and wellbeing this group…
The purpose of this paper is to explore belonging in relation to postgraduate wellbeing in the light of renewed concerns about the mental health and wellbeing this group of learners. It attends to postgraduates’ subjective wellbeing, identifying ways in which this is intertwined with a sense of belonging. Belonging is situated in relation to the social domains of postgraduate experiences. This paper seeks to contribute in-depth understandings of postgraduate experiences, to make recommendations for practice and to identify fruitful paths for further theorisation and research.
Two qualitative data sets situated in UK higher education are drawn on here: firstly, longitudinal qualitative data entailing 33 narrative interviews and written reflections of doctoral researchers were collected as part of a phenomenological study of doctoral learning. Secondly, interview data from 20 postgraduates (including masters, professional doctorates and PhD researchers) were collected as part of mixed method qualitative case study research into postgraduate wellbeing. Postgraduate participants were based in the social sciences, humanities, arts and professional disciplines at a cross-section of UK higher education institutions. Data were analysed thematically with a focus on interconnections between wellbeing, learning and belonging.
A sense of belonging arose as a key contributing factor to postgraduate wellbeing. Belonging emerged as multi-faceted, interlinking with spatial, relational and cultural factors which are likely to be experienced in different ways and degrees depending on positionalities. Experiences of belonging and non-belonging are understood as produced through academic cultures and structural inequities. They also pertain to the uncertain, in-between position of postgraduate learners. For postgraduates, and doctoral researchers especially, reaching a sense of belonging to academia was a profoundly important aspect of their journeys. Conversely, lack of belonging is linked with poor mental wellbeing and engagement with studies.
This paper engages with the neglected social domain of wellbeing. Attending to subjective perceptions of wellbeing enabled nuanced understandings of the links between wellbeing and belonging. It identifies spatial, relational and cultural dimensions of postgraduate belonging, contributing an understanding of how feelings of non-belonging manifest, how belonging might be nurtured, and how this potentially contributes to postgraduates’ wellbeing.
Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to show how Moroccan-Dutch young people discuss national belonging in a context fraught with experiences of exclusion.Design and…
Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to show how Moroccan-Dutch young people discuss national belonging in a context fraught with experiences of exclusion.
Design and Methodology – Data were collected in three rounds of focus groups with the same Moroccan-Dutch participants, addressing a different aspect of their identity in each round. To analyse the data, a narrative approach was used that considers both the import of stories as well as the contextual opportunities and constraints for sharing stories.
Findings – The analyses show how participants used ‘subjunctive stories’, which highlight the possibility of alternative meanings, to address the controversial issue of national belonging without contradicting the dominant storyline of exclusion. While the Dutch national identity could not be explicitly adopted – at least not in the company of their peers – Moroccan-Dutch young people imagined what national belonging might look like in their stories.
Research Implications – An approach to narrative that considers its subjunctive properties may sensitize researchers to the ways in which people express hopes and desires in spite of macro- and microcontextual constraints.
Value/Originality – This study takes issue with the tendency in academic research on belonging to focus on exclusion; it shows how the actual narratives reveal a longing to belong, even in the face of exclusion.
Purpose – This chapter examines place-based social practices and experiences, conceptualized as ‘belonging’, among older Americans who live in senior mobile home…
Purpose – This chapter examines place-based social practices and experiences, conceptualized as ‘belonging’, among older Americans who live in senior mobile home communities in Florida.
Design/Methodology/Approach – Pursuing a grounded theory approach, the chapter is based on 18 ethnographic interviews with senior mobile home households, conducted between 2005 and 2007.
Findings – Following lifestyle migration, senior Floridians developed interrelated, yet distinct, forms of belonging within their varying social and spatial environments, combining elements of selective, elective and resistant belonging.
Originality/Value – The study participants’ focus on shared and socially valued group characteristics in their construction of place-based identity problematizes the possibility of a successful integration of outsiders, raising new questions for the concept and future study of belonging.
This study examined sexual minority status on perceived sense of belonging and compared sexual minority students and exclusively heterosexual students as a function of…
This study examined sexual minority status on perceived sense of belonging and compared sexual minority students and exclusively heterosexual students as a function of participating in work-integrated learning (WIL).
A cross-sectional, quantitative design was used with participants grouped by sexual minority status and participation in WIL.
Sexual minority students (WIL and non-WIL) reported lower sense of belonging than exclusively heterosexual students (in WIL and non-WIL). Sexual minority students in WIL also reported significantly weaker sense of belonging compared to non-WIL sexual minority students suggesting that WIL presents some barriers to establishing a strong sense of belonging for sexual minority students.
The findings provide evidence for developing programs to ensure all students are in a safe environment where they can develop and strengthen their sense of belonging regardless of minority status. This is important given that a sense of belonging impacts mental health and overall well-being.