Multiple languages of belonging in the metropolis

Ellie Vasta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

21 Downloads (Pure)


Discussions about belonging and national identity are part of a broader European debate concerned with a perceived homogeneous national identity. One concern is that many immigrants and ethnic minorities are not integrating into the receiving societies, which is thought to undermine a sense of belonging to the nation. In this paper, I question whether this fear is valid by exploring the relationship between the individual and society through the notion of ‘sense of belonging’ - to a community, to a polity and sense of belonging to the nation. Networks of solidarity and sense of belonging can be constructed around different identities including religion, ethnicity and locality, transcending national boundaries. What does this mean in terms of national identity? Do we have to have a shared sense of belonging to the nation to be responsible citizens? Firstly, I explore some of the theoretical debates about belonging to the nation, and secondly, by analysing immigrant narratives on belonging, I argue that ethnic minorities who do not have a sense of belonging to the nation, or who have a sense of belonging to more than one symbolic or material locality, can still have a sense of belonging and commitment to the common good.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Causes, Private Lives
Subtitle of host publicationTASA 2010 Conference Proceedings
EditorsSelvaraj Velayutham, Norbert Ebert, Michael Fine, Sheila Watkins
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherThe Australian Sociological Association - TASA
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780646546285
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventAnnual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association - Sydney
Duration: 6 Dec 20109 Dec 2010


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2008. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiple languages of belonging in the metropolis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this