About this Research Topic
Social Belongingness is a challenging area for social psychologists. Research shows both the positive effects of social integration in health and wellbeing. It also shows that close knitted societies sometimes increase anxiety and negative social control.
Social belongingness is closely associated with social identity theories and is understood as a protective factor for mental and physical health. It is also closely associated with the promotion of well-being, both from a personal and a social/community perspective.
The idea of belongingness can be applied to different scales, from small organizations to macro societies, meaning that identity can be produced and anchored in different levels, and that changes in either micro and macrosocial processes can have effects in the formation and adaptation of individual and social identities. For instance, high frequency of ritualistic family meals are related to positive outcomes and cities with higher level of ritualized collective gatherings show better health results.
Increase in use of social media, internet and virtual networking are relevant social changes and are probably related to modification in sociability and social belongingness. For instance, how does the massification of ICT technologies affect the sources of people’s identity? For instance, today’s migrants are able to maintain ties with their home culture daily and are able to send and receive instrumental (e.g.money), informative and emotional social support through digital media. How these ties affect migrants capacity to adapt and accept new cultures is something that still is under-researched.
Social belongingness has both objective and subjective dimensions. Objective social belongingness relates to actual contacts and group memberships, while subjective social belongingness is associated with the perceived level of social belongingness and satisfaction with social support. Association between objective and subjective social belongingness are moderate and suggest that they follow different dynamics. For instance, at individual and collective or aggregate mean level, higher frequency of subjective perception of intense emotional synchrony with others in social gatherings (public rituals, meetings, ceremonies…) are related to social commitment and prosocial behavior. It is important to understand the specific role of changes in level of objective and subjective social belongingness.
This Research Topic aims to address the relationship between belongingness and well-being, from both subjective and social perspectives. We welcome article contributions furthering our understanding on the following issues related to belongingness as antecedent and mediational process promoting individual and social well-being and adjustment:
1. How can we measure belongingness? For example, measures of perceived social support, social well-being and inclusion measures and their relationship with well-being could be considered.
2. How is belongingness understood for micro and macro levels? In this area, we look at how perceived membership of groups of different levels (from small groups to global society) is understood and measured and how it is related to well-being.
3. How collective gatherings, collective rituals, public ceremonies, meetings and other types of social sharing activities affect both belongingness and well-being?
4. How ITC technologies affect belongingness? How social networks and online information is associated with subjective and objective belongingness.
We welcome manuscript submissions from educational, organizational, political and community psychology.
Keywords: Wellbeing, Comparative research, Belonging, Community, Cosmopolitanism
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.