HSC Advanced English
Area of Study – Belonging
Part 1 Formal Speech
‘Belonging to a community or group has a significant impact on an individual’s sense of self.
Discuss this statement, focusing on how composers of texts represent perceptions of belonging. In your response, refer to your prescribed text and two related texts of your own choosing.
Prescribed text – The Namesake by Jumpha Lahiri
Related text - The Vietnam Years: From Jungle to the Australian Suburbs by Michael Caulfield
Related text - Sense of Community: A Definition and Theory. Journal of Community Psychology. D.W. McMillan & D.M. Chavis 1986.
In 1974 psychologist Seymour Sarason introduced the concept of a “psychological sense of community that is one of the major bases for self-definition.” Put simply it translates to; “belonging to a community or group has a significant impact on an individual’s sense of self.”
Psychologists observe human behaviour. Individuals and group dynamics are clinically researched and assessed, the statistics critically evaluated and those findings are then presented in scientific terms, usually in papers and journals; devoid of an emotional connection with their subjects. In The Journal of Community Psychology, Mcmillan and Chavis published their scientific perception of the concept of a sense of community as having four elements; membership, influence, integration and fulfilment of needs and a shared emotional connection and within the element of membership there are five attributes; boundaries marked by language, dress or ritual; emotional safety and security, a sense of belonging and identification, personal investment and a common symbol system.
McMillan and Chavis’ suggest that for the individual to acquire a ‘sense of self’, the prescribed elements and attributes of community must first be obtained, but provide us...