Narratives of belonging in a suburb of change
The aim of this study is to explore how middle class residents construct narratives of belonging. The study was conducted in a suburban area in the southern part of Stockholm. This is a neighborhood that undergoes a renewal and status increase. I used a method consisting of auto-photography and subsequent interviews to explore resident’s narratives of belonging. The sampled group was residents with academic exams. Participants were instructed to take five photos of their everyday life in the area and reflect upon these in the interviews. The result was analyzed within a constructive grounded theory frame. The theoretical concepts used take inspiration from Bourdieu’s cultural capital, field and social class. The results are divided into three main cores. The results suggest that a core narrative of constructive affiliation was a useful tool to understand how residents construct a sense of belonging. Residents in this study affiliated with other groups and social classes in the area, through a heightened sense of reflection on their own social position. Residents subscribed to an inclusive version of elective belonging. Second the construction of a sense of locally based authenticity was a narrative process were they deployed a sense of belonging to the “local” and the small scale community. Third, a sense of rootless territorialism was reflected on in their sense of belonging. This was a process were residents narrative mediated between a stable and a fluid place attachment.
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