To Belong or Not to Belong?: A study on the sense of belonging of Turkish-Dutch young adults in the Netherlands

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Several studies on belonging indicate that changes in the social and political reality can influence one’s sense of belonging to the point where someone can experience place-panic, disorientation and depression (May, 2011). This research sketches the current sense of belonging of ten Turkish-Dutch young adults in the Netherlands and the way it is influenced by various political developments in Turkey and the Netherlands. Using in-depth interviews, the results suggest that the respondents have a rather deeply rooted sense of belonging in the Dutch society. Elements such as (memories concerning) their childhood and family, relationships, future dreams, economic and legal embeddedness are not easily shaken up. Various events in Turkey and the Netherlands have influenced the respondents’ sense of belonging in two ways. On the one hand it influences some of them in such a way that they feel more ‘Dutch’; the developments in Turkish politics have directed them to feel more distanced from Turkey and the Turkish-Dutch community in the Netherlands. On the other hand, some respondents clearly felt less ‘Dutch’ because of prejudices about the Turkish community and the discrimination they face in Dutch society.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen