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Loneliness and belonging in narrative environments

Richard Vytniorgu Orcid Logo, Fred Cooper, Charlotte Jones Orcid Logo, Manuela Barreto

Emotion, Space and Society, Volume: 46, Start page: 100938

Swansea University Author: Charlotte Jones Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Loneliness and belonging are often framed as psychological states affecting individuals. Their family, friendship, psychological mindset, and acquaintance networks are seen as important factors shaping experiences of loneliness and belonging, but the role of place, culture, and institutional environ...

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Published in: Emotion, Space and Society
ISSN: 1755-4586
Published: Elsevier BV 2023
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa62682
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Abstract: Loneliness and belonging are often framed as psychological states affecting individuals. Their family, friendship, psychological mindset, and acquaintance networks are seen as important factors shaping experiences of loneliness and belonging, but the role of place, culture, and institutional environments are often relegated to the periphery of attention. This article adopts the lens of narrative environment to highlight the importance of environments and cultures in storying experiences of loneliness and belonging, in this instance, among students enrolled at a UK university. Focusing especially on student accommodation and the university’s links (or perceived lack thereof) with its locality and the university’s infrastructure, we argue for the dialectic and reciprocal relationship between students and their environment in storying experiences of loneliness and belonging. Narrative environment, we argue, encapsulates the way in which some people negotiate a sense of belonging, moving the focus beyond individual psychology and immediate social networks, to the impact of institutional and environmental culture.
Keywords: Narrative environment; loneliness; belonging; student experience; student accommodation; University; Higher Education; wellbeing
College: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Funders: University of Exeter’s Provost Commission, and The Wellcome Trust [Grant number 203109/Z/16/Z].
Start Page: 100938