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Loneliness and belonging in narrative environments
Emotion, Space and Society, Volume: 46, Start page: 100938
Swansea University Author: Charlotte Jones
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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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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.
Narrative environment; loneliness; belonging; student experience; student accommodation; University; Higher Education; wellbeing
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Exeter’s Provost Commission, and The Wellcome Trust [Grant number 203109/Z/16/Z].