What are the factors that make you feel like you belong somewhere or not? Whether it is a place, a time, a family, a country, a community, or group of friends. This seemingly innocent question is key because it lies at the heart of some of the main societal questions of today. The reason is that the answers create in and out groups that divide and unite societies. People who belong seem to be entitled to more rights than those who don’t belong, perhaps most clearly expressed by politicians who state that their own people should come first. They do so to appeal to the majority, but at the expense of minorities (who come second at best).
At the same time, it is also important for anyone to feel that you belong somewhere, that you are part of something bigger. We, people, are social animals, after all.
- What can we do to create a space where everyone feels welcome? Whether they are students in a classroom, teachers at a conference, or newcomers in a society?
- Should history education purposely be used for identity building? To promote a sense of belonging? Or is this instrumentalising history education?
- What influences what we remember, and what we forget?
- What are the implications for history education, and the use of testimonies.
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