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Belonging and Unbelonging from an Intersectional Perspective

Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd.
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  • TilhøRsforhold
  • Intersektionalitet
  • Medborgerskab
  • KøN
  • Klasse
  • Etnitet
  • Belonging
  • Intersectionality
  • Citizenship
  • Gender
  • Class
  • Ethnicity


The article is primarily theoretical and conceptual. It focuses on the notion of belonging from an intersectional perspective. The purpose is to discuss different dimensions of the concept of ‘belonging' and its rooting at different analytical levels. The first part of the article outlines the theoretical framework. The point of departure is multilayered citizenship and different notions of belonging. Second, the notion of belonging is divided into three analytical levels: (a) the macro level: imagined communities; (b) the meso level: collective organizations; and (c) the micro level: everyday lives and local communities. The three levels are explained and illustrated with empirical examples from a Nordic context, all based on the perspective of intersectionality between gender, class, race, and ethnicity. Finally, the article discusses some challenges for further research on belonging, for instance how to combine analysis of model citizenship/migration regimes with perspectives on everyday life. Another question relates to dilemmas within studies of everyday life. On the one hand, these studies are based on voices from below and a high degree of authenticity, but on the other hand, they tend to have a flipside, because the focus on routine and repetition can result in reproducing and stigmatizing "the others".

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