COMMUNITY / BELONGING
"Belonging means a sense of we, means having one voice, means we are all together in one community."
"It means standing up for the same thing, being here for the same purpose.”
"Community means feeling included, valued, lifted at 100%."
"Community means belonging means the absence of identity struggles."
In the Cambridge dictionary, a “community” is defined as “the people living in one particular area or people who are considered as a unit because of their common interests, social group, or nationality”
The idea of a shared location, identity or goal stands out in most dictionaries’ definitions. However, in other attempts to revisit and redefine this term, (Chavis, David M. & Lee, Kien, 2015; Pfortmüller, 2017) the need for a relationship is highlighted. Nowadays, new technology in communication and transportation means that communities no longer have to be composed of people living close to each other and global communities can be created. As communities can be characterised by age group, ethnicity, gender, religion, location, or profession, etc., they overlap, and one person can belong to different communities. These communities can be joined by choice, or one can be part of them by default.
Community could be also examined from the perspective of its etymological meaning: cum munus. While cum, meaning “with/together” already gives us a sense of what community is. Munus can have different meanings such as service, duty, favour or gift. These imply a sense of responsibility towards the community, but this translates into mutual favour, a shared care, a gift.
Pfortmüller, Fabian. (2017) What does “community” even mean? A definition attempt & conversation starter.
Chavis, David M. & Lee, Kien.(2015) What Is Community Anyway? (SSIR)
What Is Community Anyway? (SSIR).