Academic Workshop: Price of Belonging
Date: July 12-13 2018
Venue: Centre for Interdisciplinary Research (ZIF) Bielefeld University
Conveners: Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka and Éva Rozália Hölzle
Belonging, as an everyday experience of being in the world, commonly evokes positive associations, yet collective belonging is an ambiguous social practice. Be it on biological, ethnic, economic or political grounds, belonging comes with a price. "Social contracts" rewarding a person with entitlements and safety simultaneously confront her with claims of loyalty, lifelong commitments, and limitations on personal freedoms. Incorporation may lead to collisions of social expectations, conflicts between individual will and "collective good", and tensions between personal autonomy and social bonding. Due to the "symbolic power" (Bourdieu) of belonging, such tensions frequently remain concealed, and personal obligations are rarely acknowledged as sacrifices or submissive. Our aim in this workshop is to deepen the understanding of human sacrifice that belonging tacitly implies. We will look into the interior of human bonds that are less about a relationship between the self and a different "Other" and more of a relationship between the self and a distinct "Same", a perspective that will hopefully guide us to the hidden spheres of belonging.
The workshop is funded by:
European Association of South Asian Studies (EASAS)
German Research Foundation (DFG)