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$19.99

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781743538920
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pub Date: 22/12/2015
  • Category: Society & social sciences / Cultural studies
  • Imprint: Pan Australia
  • Pages: 304
  • Price: $19.99

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.

Compellingly argued and 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.

Author Information

Hugh Mackay is a social researcher and bestselling author of 19 books, including The Good Life, The Art of Belonging and his latest, Australia Reimagined.

He has had a 60-year career in social research, and was also a weekly newspaper columnist for over 25 years. Among many honorary appointments, he has been deputy chairman of the Australia Council for the Arts, chairman of trustees of Sydney Grammar School, the inaugural chairman of the ACT government's Community Inclusion Board and an honorary professor at Macquarie, Wollongong and Charles Sturt universities. He is currently a patron of the Asylum Seekers Centre.

In recognition of his pioneering work in social research, Hugh has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and awarded honorary doctorates by Charles Sturt, Macquarie, NSW, Western Sydney and Wollongong universities. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2015.