Belonging as Capacity: Strengthening Bonds in the Era of Neoliberal Governmentality

Gabrielle Desgagné, M.A. in Sociology at Concordia University


This article theorizes belonging within the context of neoliberalism in North America. Drawing on an Indigenous epistemology, this article theorizes how the feeling is belonging capacitates. That is, how belonging to a community fosters a sense of happiness and acceptance even within the era of neoliberal governmentality which governs bodies by governing less. It provides rich examples into the Indigenous experience of belonging noting that when an individual has a sense of belonging, they are better able to strengthen bonds with their sense of self and with others. This analysis brings a unique definition of belonging to this issue, while emphasizing the importance of acknowledging that belonging is a feeling that crosses cultural barriers.