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The Art of Belonging

The Art of Belonging by Hugh Mackay
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The eternal question 'Who am I?' must be weighed against an even deeper question: 'Who are we?' We are writing each other's stories as much as we are writing our own.

In his bestselling book, The Good Life, Hugh Mackay argued that kindness and respect for others are the hallmarks of a life well lived. Now in The Art of Belonging Mackay shows how strong communities develop our moral sense and build our emotional security. He says that as 'social creatures' we can only reach our potential when we engage with our communities - in the local neighbourhood, at work and even online.
Drawing on his lifelong work as a social researcher, Mackay creates a fictional suburb, Southwood, and populates it with characters who, like most of us, struggle to reconcile their need to belong with their desire to live life on their own terms. Through a series of stories, illuminated by Mackay's social analysis, we witness the conflicts that arise when individuals assert their needs at the expense of others, but we also glimpse the satisfactions that flow from contributing to the common good.

Written with wisdom, compassion and wit, The Art of Belonging is for those who yearn for a society that sustains and nurtures the many, not just the fortunate few.

Pan Macmillan Australia; October 2014
300 pages; ISBN 9781743518328
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Title: The Art of Belonging
Author: Hugh Mackay
  • News
Have we lost the art of belonging? - Sydney Morning Herald
Fri, 03 Oct 2014 07:19:04 -0700
Sydney Morning HeraldHave we lost the art of belonging?Sydney Morning Herald... but the magic comes from us, not to us. Social ...
Hugh Mackay finds the ties that bind communities - Sydney Morning Herald
Sat, 15 Nov 2014 05:17:13 -0800
Sydney Morning HeraldHugh Mackay finds the ties that bind communitiesSydney Morning HeraldAustralian social researcher Hugh ...
Social researcher Hugh Mackay labels Parramatta Council's plan to build more highrises a big mistake - The Daily Telegraph
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 20:08:01 -0700
The Daily TelegraphSocial researcher Hugh Mackay labels Parramatta Council's plan to build more highrises a big mistakeThe ...