INTO Magazine.edition 01

INTO Magazine. edition 01


Groups - Why do we seek a sense of belonging?

Our world is constantly shifting –  socially and historically. 

And as social beings, we are dynamic, multifaceted, complex, and erratic. 

But we want to make sense of it all. We build our identities through interactions and the interplay of affections, and reflect upon ourselves continuously. We desire for a sense of belonging and understand ourselves through it, and the lack thereof can be disorienting. 

We are each part of a language, perhaps a location, a sexuality, a gender – or many. Maybe an aesthetic preference, a vocation, an ethnicity, or a faith.  Our shared lived experiences bring us together in our pursuit of connection. 

Values are internalised and so we like to think they are natural, yet there is a multiplicity of ways of perceiving, conceiving and living the world.

We meet certain criteria by ‘doing’ and ‘being’– sometimes consciously, sometimes not – and these grant us ‘membership’ to groups and communities: large, small, global, local.  They are what serve as the glue (however loose or tight, fresh or stale) that ensures a sense of cohesion, unity and power – as well as being a vehicle for the sense of belonging.

(The ugly side of the coin is, it can also enable social divide.) 

Forming a sense of belonging requires both personal and social recognition as member. But social identities are not immutable and fixed, rather fluid processes that alter and fluctuate as we find ourselves in constant negotiation between our self-image and our social interactions.

Are we – at least partially – defined by our sense of belonging? 

Text: Camila Pedersen Sierra - Cultural analyst.

Copies of INTO edition 01 are available to purchase online at - 20 pages full colour. - Paper 90gsm. - 289mm x 380mm.