Dieter Thomä

Varieties of Belonging: BetweenAppropriation and Familiarization

1 Social capital and belonging: a conceptualconundrum

The term “belonging” allows for arranging and re-arranging its assigned subjects and objects in fairly different ways. Questions like ‘Does that belong to you?’ or ‘Do you belong to him?’ are examples of such varieties. They serve as a blueprint for an ambiguity which many theorists addressing the concept of social capital have found puzzling or cumbersome. The following two findings may illustrate this ambiguity. On the one hand social capital describes a setting in which a person is part of (or belongs to) a network. On the other hand, social capital is described as a resource that is at the disposal of a person ...

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