Why are we so concerned with belonging? In what ways does our belonging constitute our identity? Is belonging a universal concept or a culturally dependent value? How does belonging situate and motivate us? In these days of identity politics, these issues are more significant and more complex than ever.
Joseph E. David grapples with these questions through a genealogical analysis of ideas and concepts of belonging. In his book Kinship, Law and Politics: An Anatomy of Belonging (Cambridge UP, 2020) examines crucial historical moments in which perceptions of belonging were formed, transformed, or dismantled.
The cases presented here focus on the pivotal role played by belonging in kinship, law, and political order, stretching across cultural and religious contexts from eleventh-century Mediterranean religious legal debates to twentieth-century statist liberalism in Western societies.
With thorough inquiry into diverse discourses of belonging, David pushes past the politics of belonging to acknowledge just how wide-ranging and fluid notions of belonging can be.
Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a psychologist, writer, Middle East television commentator and host of The New Books Network’s Van Leer Jerusalem Series on Ideas. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @embracingwisdom.