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Towards a Phenomenology of the Sense of Belonging and the Emotional Impact of Migration

IMC Tuesday Seminar: Talk by Alba Montes Sánchez, postdoc at the Center for Subjectivity Research, Dept. of Communication, University of Copenhagen

Info about event


Tuesday 28 March 2023,  at 11:00 - 12:30


Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, 8000 Aarhus C, building 1483, room 312 and online (https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/my/imcevent)

Alba Montes Sánchez

In this talk I seek to articulate a notion of "sense of belonging" that can shed light on the emotional impact of migration. Psychology research into the latter focuses on two complex phenomena, acculturation stress and migratory grief, but studies them in isolation from each other, and pays little attention to their common root: a challenged sense of belonging. The sense of belonging has recently been conceptualized in two ways. According to one account, it is an "existential feeling": a background affective orientation that shapes an individual’s space of possibilities (Ratcliffe 2008). As such, it amounts to a pre-reflective sense of togetherness that allows us to experience the world as a shared space (Wilde 2021). According to another proposal, the sense of group belonging is an episodic feeling, akin to other standard emotions, with an intentional target (the subject’s relation to the group), a formal object (the hedonically positive value of certain commonalities between oneself and the group) and a focus of concern (roughly, fitting in and being valued by other group members) (Szanto forthcoming). I argue that both notions are necessary. Episodic feelings of belonging arise against the backdrop of an existential feeling and respond to its disturbances and alterations, and these in turn shed light on the relations between acculturation stress and migratory grief.

About the speaker
Alba Montes Sánchez
Center for Subjectivity Research
Department of Communication
University of Copenhagen

Free of charge - All are welcome to attend