Embodied Belonging. In/exclusion, Health Care, and Well-Being in a World in Motion
Mattes, Dominik; Lang, Claudia – 2020
In this introduction, we propose the notion of 'embodied belonging' as a fruitful analytical heuristic for scholars in medical and psychological anthropology. We envision this notion to help us gain a more nuanced understanding of the entanglements of the political, social, and affective dimensions of belonging and their effects on health, illness, and healing. A focus on embodied belonging, we argue, reveals how displacement, exclusion, and marginalization cause existential and health-related ruptures in people's lives and bodies, and how affected people, in the struggle for re/emplacement and re/integration, may regain health and sustain their well-being. Covering a variety of regional contexts (Germany/Vietnam, Norway, the UK, Japan), the contributions to this special issue examine how embodied non/belonging is experienced, re/imagined, negotiated, practiced, disrupted, contested, and achieved (or not) by their protagonists, who are excluded and marginalized in diverse ways. Each article highlights the intricate trajectories of how dynamics of non/belonging inscribe themselves in human bodies. They also reveal how belonging can be utilized and drawn on as a forceful means and resource of social resilience, if not (self-)therapy and healing.