23. april 2018

Belonging: Comprehending Subjectivity in Vietnam and Beyond

Professor of Anthropology Tine Gammeltoft has contributed to the recent issue of the journal Social Analysis with the article ‘Belonging: Comprehending Subjectivity in Vietnam and Beyond.’ In the article, Tine Gammeltoft explores how a ‘belonging’ perspective can contribute to anthropological reflections on subjectivity and agency.

Based on two ethnographic fieldwork cases in Vietnam, the article illustrates how people tend to find their bearings in existentially difficult situations by placing themselves within concrete communities of others. Distinguishing between intersubjective, territorial, and political forms of belonging, the article discusses anthropological approaches to belonging practices, highlighting the shared analytical assumptions that have underpinned anthropological use of the concept. By placing mutuality and responsiveness at the center of attention, the article demonstrates that a belonging perspective can help people to think more carefully about the complex ways in which freedom and constraint intertwine in human lives.

Tine Gammeltoft, Belonging: Comprehending Subjectivity in Vietnam and Beyond, Social Analysis, Spring 2018.