On August 6, Paolo Boccagni and Maggie Kusenbach will chair an invited session on 

Seeking Common Ground: Displacement, Home, and Belonging at the Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association – ASA (Los Angeles, 5-9 August). The broader conference theme, chosen by ASA’s President Cecilia Menjivar (see her homing interview here!), is Bureaucracies of Displacement

1125 – Seeking Common Ground: Displacement, Home, and Belonging

Sat, August 6, 8:00 to 9:30am, LACC, Floor: Level 2, 402BConvenors: Maggie Kusenbach (University of South Florida), Paolo Boccagni (University of Trento)

Arguably, what displaced people and groups across social contexts and locations share are not only exposure to physical disruption and material loss but also enduring emotional and relational costs—the impossibility, whether temporary or permanent, to call a place home, to develop a sense of belonging in a safe and familiar environment. But what exactly, besides the material comforts of shelter, enables displaced people to recover a sense of home? How do places, identities, and relationships intersect in feelings and practices of belonging? And what are the structural conditions and politics of these dynamics? In this session, we seek to facilitate an empirically based discussion to examine intersections between home, belonging, and displacement across multiple geographical scales, from homes to cities, from nations to global regions. We have invited a diverse panel of leading sociologists—working in urban and environmental sociology, migration, refugee, and colonial studies—to engage in a critical conversation across area boundaries. Our goal is to develop a relational, intersectional understanding of place and displacement as critical features of contemporary social life.

Individual presentations:

– Salvadoran practices of belonging and unbelonging in Los Angeles – Leisy Abrego, UCLA

– A way home: LGBQT populations and the recovery of the lost urban territory – Japonica Brown Saracino, Boston University

– Three views on displacement, belonging and climate change in the context of settler colonialism – Kari Marie Norgaard, University of Oregon

– Migrants, refugees and homeless people in search of home, belonging and health – Ernesto Castaneda, American University

Discussant: David FitzGerald, University of California – San Diego