Book Jacket

 

rank 3067
word count 14278
date submitted 19.04.2009
date updated 06.11.2009
genres: Non-fiction, Popular Culture, Busin...
classification: universal
incomplete

The End of Belonging. Untold Stories of Leaving Home and the Psychology of Global Relocation

Greg Madison, PhD

This book introduces the concept, 'existential migration': moving cross-culturally to express our homeless human condition.
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A deep psychology of unsettledness often results from cross-cultural relocation. Life assumptions are cracked open. While the world is becoming more homogeneous and more accessible through technology, this creates unease with regard to where one belongs – a kind of global ‘homelessness’ may be on the horizon and this has not been brought into public discourse. The issue of home will be THE issue of the 21st century. This book depicts experiences of international relocation that have never been described before. The motivation for these cross-cultural moves, sometimes repeated over and over, is a search for self-understanding and an expression of unique sensitivities to life. These voluntary migrations are not primarily motivated by economics and are not forced by political conditions or international conflict. Most leave home because they never felt ‘at home’ there in the first place. For some, leaving their home culture can result in not being at home anywhere, and a complex mix of inconsolable loss as well as perpetual adventure and self-discovery.
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anthropology, belonging, corporate training, cosmopolitanism, cross-cultural experience, end of belonging, exile, existential, existential migration, ...

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Megreek wrote 193 days ago

Just a few more points. I have lived abroad temporarily - 5.5 months in Spain, a few years later summered in Paris and then London (same summer). Everytime, it was the same sensation...this seemingly urgent need to "get away." I did not enjoy extended companionship in Spain, Paris or England. They were poorly planned trips on my part. I was unseasoned and ignorant. Even so, I admit that culture stimulates me intellectually, but it also touches me emotionally, esp. when I am physically and verbally embraced by strangers who genuinely anticipate my continued involvement with them. When someone asks, "Where have you been? I thought you were coming...or I looked for you." That does it for me everytime. The best times of my life have been spent with foreigners showing what appears to me - genuine hospitality. Even if I die with a plane ticket in my hand, I'll die in a fine mood. And good luck to all you gypsy hearts - kindred spirits.

Megreek wrote 193 days ago

This feeling began with me as a child - the need to be on the go, but once this became a need to go overseas, I started feeling like a gypsy. I confess however, to coming from a less than close-knit family. We are not volatile, just bitter, distant, but we say we love each other. Anyway, religion did not answer my longing for family (among JW's). I also don't fit in with my own race. I'm a bookwork and history buff. While I think it (hospitality) is found among Saudi's, that introduces another set of problems: heat, womanhood, rights, etc. Now, I am trying for China as an expat English teacher (after completing the online TESOL). Wish me luck. I just want to "feel" at home. And oh, my town is homey, but I don't really belong here since everyone is married and anti-intellectual (minus a few campus folk). And the student community is transient, so good friends eventually leave...and then its over. And let's face it, old, single and kind of poor just isn't alluring, no matter how smart, cute or charming.

subra_2k123 wrote 965 days ago

Hi Greg. I have been like one of the characters of your book, always been in foreign lands for the past 25 years.I am not sure yet whether I feel global homelessness. I read the prologue and decided to read further. You have an excellent flow of words backed by an authentic research. In fact my migrations took me to different cultures and different religions. I might read more before commenting any further. A small Tip (excuse me) Instead of replying to a comment, if you send the message to the writer of the comment they will surely read it. (otherwise they have to come back here and scroll down till they see the reply)

Best wishes
Venkatarama Dandibhotla
Book: Ozoneraser

heatherjacobs wrote 1636 days ago

Hi Greg,
I suffer that – a sort of restlessness, a paradoxical attraction towards the wide world mingled with a forlorn yearning for home. I love going overseas to live; the adventure of it all, and the excitement, the fish-out-of-water feeling, yet at the same time it’s hard to settle somewhere new and I get struck by huge bouts of homesickness. And now, after thinking I was done with all that adventuring stuff, I’ve just applied for another posting overseas! If I get it, I’ll have to come back and read the rest to try and understand what's going on.
Cheers,
Heather

Murray Gunn wrote 1658 days ago

I'm an existential migrant and studying to be an anthropologist, so I admit to bias in putting this on my shelf. The topic is very interesting, though, and the writing accessible in a way that most of my uni readings aren't, so I feel validated in supporting you. I look forward to reading more.

BexMcK wrote 1658 days ago

Greg-
This is fascinating to me for three reasons. First, because I have never seen a proper academic study on authonomy before, second because I am a 'voluntary migrant' and can see myself in your pages (the best validation of a sociological study I know of), and third because I am a social anthropologist and have always been particularly interested in issues of identity.

I haven't read far enough to see whether you deal with the problem of going home again. I left the United States for Scotland in 1994 and since then have lived here, married here, worked here, given birth to my children here, and in all meaningful ways matured and become the person I am here. I look back on my 'homeland' (a word that has subsequently acquired new meaning for all the wrong reasons) and realize I'll never belong there again. I am nostalgic for America sometimes, but I think for an America that doesn't exist anymore-- or maybe which never existed.

I would love to read this book in more depth, and will try to come back to it. I'm sure there must be an academic publisher for this... have you tried?

My own novel, Matter Out of Place (fitting title, given your interests), is about an anthropologist. It is very much a work of fiction, but in a much lighter way it explores some similar issues.

Good luck with this.
Kind regards,
BexMcK

Greg W wrote 1725 days ago

Thanks for posting your work. I will start by saying that I connected very well with the material. I recently moved to the United Kingdom, and have struggled to explain to people why I did it. Truthfully, it was because it felt like something important for me to do, however it felt somewhat strange telling people that. I don’t know that I am closer to being able to explain my reasoning to my friends, but at least I know I am not alone in what I was feeling. Thank you so much for doing the research and capturing your thoughts. It has given me a lot to think about.

My reading of the book is as a casual reader with an interest in the topic as it applied to me, a layman. I am not generally interested in psychology and have no training in it. With those caveats, turning a more critical to the book, I felt that the book was well organised. It moved well and built up information on the topic in a good way. It did read, as others have pointed out, like a text book in parts. As a casual reader I did find myself skimming over the discussions on methodology of the research or comparisons to other research and theories previously undertaken. For the casual reader, the detail presented in these sections is more than I was interested in reading. The Sensitivities in Existential Migration and Practical Applications sections didn’t seem to flow with the narrative, and threw me off a bit. These sections might be better as appendices after the conclusion.

These are small critiques, though. All in all I enjoyed the read, and found a lot of it really connected with me. I enjoyed both reading the stories of others and the analysis of their migration, and thought you balanced the two well. It has certainly given me a lot to mull over, as well as some comfort in knowing that I am not alone in my own thoughts.

kgadette wrote 1760 days ago

Dear Greg:

First, the pitches:
Who's your intended audience? If you're looking to capture the eye of a public with average intelligence, then you might want to lose the reference to "self-actualisation." It may alienate more than intrigue. Not that you have to dumb down your work – but you do have to make it palatable, and the pitch is your most important sales tool. Could you rephrase? Ie, "… who move cross-culturally to express their homeless state"?

Also suggest that the long pitch be broken into smaller paragraphs, simply for easier readability. Right now, it looks like we're reading a textbook -- and the old kneejerk reaction to textbooks won't be all that favorable to your work.
There's a beautiful line here: "For some, leaving their home culture can result in not being at home anywhere [at all.]" Or, "Most leave home because they never felt at home in the first place." Now those are "sellable" phrases that the average Joe can hear and understand.

There's an underlying fear we share, probably growing even stronger in this economic downtown, that homelessness could happen to any of us, at any time. We WANT to read these stories; as a warning, as an instructional manual, or simply as voyeurs. Let us in.

In looking through your chapters, I saw that they were indeed more of theory than of actual people's stories. I see that you devote approx. two paragraphs to one subject before moving on. This is your book and you've structured it as you've seen fit – all I can say is that if I had to choose a book on the subject, I would want to read something more visceral, more "in the life of." Something Studs Terkel-esque if you will, getting to know a person, his bio, what happened or didn't happen to cause his current homeless state, and how he was surviving today. Then perhaps I'd bring in theory to illustrate.

But that's just my knee-jerk reaction. I'm shelving this because it's an important subject, and the fact that you're taking it on is beyond inspiring. All the very best with it. - Kimberly

KJKron wrote 1769 days ago

This is well written, researched, and interesting, but I feel that I'm not worthy to give you advice - especially since I'm not an expert. To me, this is a serious book - almost like a textbook - and because of that, you might be limiting your audience. It doesn't have the Malcom Gladwell mass-marketed appeal that a non-fiction piece might have, but then again if it did, it would be missing the authenticity that you've given it.

I'm curious - what do you want from your book? Has it already been published? What are your expectations from this site?

I spend my summers in Spain and feel isolated when I'm there. Maybe that's why I am curious about this book. I hope that you achieve what you are striving for - send me a message and let me know what that is. Then maybe I can give you some words of wisdom - and / or back it.

Sangay Glass wrote 1771 days ago

This is truly a worthwhile read. I'm sure you will find placement.

I'm one of the minority. Never really feeling at home in my own society, I embraced many and made all my home. I think it had to with my being comfortable in my own skin, so I never felt lonely. I did grow from my experiences.

But what I find most intriguing is that I often found myself defending my home state and country when confronted with rude comments about them. I can relate to the bit about feeling more Canadian in Europe.

Minor quip. Ditch some "that" for a cleaner script. They admire the hero (that) they unknowingly made. In the forum under writing. Look for sterling-editors tips in Word. These tricks will help you chop the fat.

And gawd, I knew this was coming. Joesph Campbell is my idol:)

This is very a very worthy project. If you're going to post here, I would suggest a second manuscript for readability. Reading online is quite different from books. Use Trebuchet MS or Arial 12 point font. And break your paragraphs into sentence of no more than 5 sentences. There were some huge chunks of block that will scare off readers. The reason: online it's easy to lose your place because there are no pages, just scroll. It may look longer but it will help your readers navigate much easier.

I've put it on my shelf for more exposure for you.

Peace Out,
Sangay Glass
Kate, Blue Jeans, and a Single Shot

By the way...return comments should be sent to the member's message box. People rarely return to see your reply.

GregMadison wrote 1787 days ago

Dear David
Thanks very much for your comments. I'm inspired to hear that my book hits 'home' for you. I'll look at your book. Best wishes, Greg

Greg
I never knew there were books like this on Authonomy!
I was drawn to your work because I’ve experienced the very issues you raise. I’ve moved around the uk and lived in a foreign country, with no knowledge of the language. I’ve explored a lot of the questions you raise. I’ve felt detached in my city of birth and haven’t even visited it for 20 years, but I’ve also experienced a close kinship and feeling of home in a foreign town. Therefore I couldn’t avoid reading this intriguing book of yours.
To an extent my book, although a fantasy novel, explores these same issues – a boy who leaves home very early to try to find his purpose in a seemingly meaningless world.
And so I congratulate you on this important work.
Thanks for the read.

Shelved with my best wishes
David (Green Ore)

DMC wrote 1787 days ago

Greg
I never knew there were books like this on Authonomy!
I was drawn to your work because I’ve experienced the very issues you raise. I’ve moved around the uk and lived in a foreign country, with no knowledge of the language. I’ve explored a lot of the questions you raise. I’ve felt detached in my city of birth and haven’t even visited it for 20 years, but I’ve also experienced a close kinship and feeling of home in a foreign town. Therefore I couldn’t avoid reading this intriguing book of yours.
To an extent my book, although a fantasy novel, explores these same issues – a boy who leaves home very early to try to find his purpose in a seemingly meaningless world.
And so I congratulate you on this important work.
Thanks for the read.

Shelved with my best wishes
David (Green Ore)

klouholmes wrote 1788 days ago

Hi Greg, I’ve long been interested in the subject of migration. This psychological handling had a readable style stream. I liked your telling your own Calcutta experience at first and the emotional feelings, atmospheric and then being in danger. I felt that the terms being coined and the psychology being established, at-home vs. rootlessness, the inner person needing an outer match, could explain the phenomenon of so many people moving around. Maybe there was too much before the case studies which made me anticipate them. Once into the case studies, the comparisons between the individual’s reasons for migrating became very stimulating. I feel informed that there is a new psychology for people who don’t feel at-home. Shelved – Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

GregMadison wrote 1789 days ago

Dear Bren
I appreciate your comments and your critique. I am aware of that and I don't find it convincing, but you are right, it should be dealt with in the book and I'm not sure I clearly have. If you read on, especially some of the more theoretical stuff in the second half, you might find an answer to it. Please let me know... Cheers, Greg

I thoroughly enjoyed this. It’s as thought-provoking as any book I’ve come across on Authonomy and very well written indeed. And you’ve got an original thesis here: that there exists a contemporary phenomenon of people homeless-by-choice whose experiences and whose history are invisible. Your book aims to restore that phenomenon to visibility, or perhaps even make something visible that wasn’t visible (ever) previously. I think that’s a laudable ambition and a grand one.

Reservations? I read to the end of chapter three and mine may well be dealt with later in the book, but looking through the list of contents, I couldn’t see where they might obviously be addressed, so here goes. Forgive me if I sound like a dilettante.

My feeling is that this project of deliberate homelessness began in the nineteenth century in those ‘Grand Tours’ the wealthy used to go on. And Byron going to fight for the Greeks, and Goethe touring Italy, that sort of thing. Relocation was a way of combating existential boredom even then, but note, there was a class dimension to it. I think there still is. The middle classes have the leisure time to suffer boredom and they have the funds to assuage it with travel, especially now that globetrotting has become relatively cheap. And incidentally, that’s always been the Marxist criticism of existentialism: that it’s a class-outlook, essentially the glamourisation of ennui, presented as a set of universal truths. I’m not sure I agree, but it might be worth considering in your book, if only to refute.

Anyway, I’m probably speaking out of my backside. This is unique on Authonomy. It’s going to provoke a lot of discussion, and I’m sure that’s its purpose. Bookshelved.

Bren Verrill
The Weird Problem of Good.

Bren Verrill wrote 1789 days ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this. It’s as thought-provoking as any book I’ve come across on Authonomy and very well written indeed. And you’ve got an original thesis here: that there exists a contemporary phenomenon of people homeless-by-choice whose experiences and whose history are invisible. Your book aims to restore that phenomenon to visibility, or perhaps even make something visible that wasn’t visible (ever) previously. I think that’s a laudable ambition and a grand one.

Reservations? I read to the end of chapter three and mine may well be dealt with later in the book, but looking through the list of contents, I couldn’t see where they might obviously be addressed, so here goes. Forgive me if I sound like a dilettante.

My feeling is that this project of deliberate homelessness began in the nineteenth century in those ‘Grand Tours’ the wealthy used to go on. And Byron going to fight for the Greeks, and Goethe touring Italy, that sort of thing. Relocation was a way of combating existential boredom even then, but note, there was a class dimension to it. I think there still is. The middle classes have the leisure time to suffer boredom and they have the funds to assuage it with travel, especially now that globetrotting has become relatively cheap. And incidentally, that’s always been the Marxist criticism of existentialism: that it’s a class-outlook, essentially the glamourisation of ennui, presented as a set of universal truths. I’m not sure I agree, but it might be worth considering in your book, if only to refute.

Anyway, I’m probably speaking out of my backside. This is unique on Authonomy. It’s going to provoke a lot of discussion, and I’m sure that’s its purpose. Bookshelved.

Bren Verrill
The Weird Problem of Good.

GregMadison wrote 1789 days ago

Hi Madame
I like your encouragement and your critique. You should have seen earlier drafts!! The book straddles the professional and the sophisticated general audience. It seems to appeal most to people who have had this experience. Any ideas on how to improve the writing would be MOST welcome. Cheers, Greg

Non-fiction travel and first-person anecdotes: two of my favorite literary pursuits. You turn something not much of us consider into an art form and stand back with us and extemporize on it on a minute scale. I've always harbored daydreams of packing up and disappearing (especially with the economy and the job market the way it is lately), so I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the premise behind this enjoyable book.

With non-fiction, I don't think you can really point out the style--I mean, you can only describe reality so many ways before it gets silly--so I'm just going to say you have a fantastic idea here and the grammar, spelling is top-notch. And AnnabelleP has a point: we don't have enough non-fiction around here. You, and this book, are a breath of fresh air.

That's the ups, here's the downs:
Nearly every paragraph is an unbroken monster, and with most sentences a dense demonstration of a PhD's lofty vocabulary, the book becomes a series of sledgehammer word-bricks, it turns into a lot of lorem ipsut caputem and my eyes roll back in my head. Even the pitch is thick. This would be a death-knell, or at least a grievous wound, for a fiction novel--they thrive on pace and readability--but for a non-fiction it's a toss-up.

I mean, something like this isn't really a page-turner; I wouldn't get to the end of one chapter, look at the clock and think, "I have to work early tomorrow...oh, screw it, one more chapter won't hurt." You could leave off in the middle of a paragraph and pick up two days later and not really itch to "continue the saga". Here, it's simply a hair on the tongue, a pebble in the shoe.

At any rate, I'm backing the living hell out of it. I raise a toast to it.

Keep writing!

GregMadison wrote 1789 days ago

Hi Anabelle. Thanks for your feedback and for shelving my book. Much appreciated. Greg


Hi there,
I liked the cover of your book, it drew mw to it. I found this an interesting read from the start, there's not really enough non-fiction on the site. This is an interesting topic, indeed, where is home? Having considered moving abroad as a family, this is an eye-opener for me. Clearly some people move and then seek to fit in, while others are quite happy to just 'be', wherever they are. I found your writing thought-provoking, it certainly raises some important questions about migration. Mmm, food for thought. I enjoyed this and will attempt to come back for more. In the meanwhile, it's on my SHELF!
Bests,
AnnabelleP
(Adelaide Short)

S. A. Hunt wrote 1789 days ago

Non-fiction travel and first-person anecdotes: two of my favorite literary pursuits. You turn something not much of us consider into an art form and stand back with us and extemporize on it on a minute scale. I've always harbored daydreams of packing up and disappearing (especially with the economy and the job market the way it is lately), so I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the premise behind this enjoyable book.

With non-fiction, I don't think you can really point out the style--I mean, you can only describe reality so many ways before it gets silly--so I'm just going to say you have a fantastic idea here and the grammar, spelling is top-notch. And AnnabelleP has a point: we don't have enough non-fiction around here. You, and this book, are a breath of fresh air.

That's the ups, here's the downs:
Nearly every paragraph is an unbroken monster, and with most sentences a dense demonstration of a PhD's lofty vocabulary, the book becomes a series of sledgehammer word-bricks, it turns into a lot of lorem ipsut caputem and my eyes roll back in my head. Even the pitch is thick. This would be a death-knell, or at least a grievous wound, for a fiction novel--they thrive on pace and readability--but for a non-fiction it's a toss-up.

I mean, something like this isn't really a page-turner; I wouldn't get to the end of one chapter, look at the clock and think, "I have to work early tomorrow...oh, screw it, one more chapter won't hurt." You could leave off in the middle of a paragraph and pick up two days later and not really itch to "continue the saga". Here, it's simply a hair on the tongue, a pebble in the shoe.

At any rate, I'm backing the living hell out of it. I raise a toast to it.

Keep writing!

AnnabelleP wrote 1789 days ago

Hi there,
I liked the cover of your book, it drew mw to it. I found this an interesting read from the start, there's not really enough non-fiction on the site. This is an interesting topic, indeed, where is home? Having considered moving abroad as a family, this is an eye-opener for me. Clearly some people move and then seek to fit in, while others are quite happy to just 'be', wherever they are. I found your writing thought-provoking, it certainly raises some important questions about migration. Mmm, food for thought. I enjoyed this and will attempt to come back for more. In the meanwhile, it's on my SHELF!
Bests,
AnnabelleP
(Adelaide Short)

GregMadison wrote 1799 days ago

Dear MCH
Thanks for your feedback. Much appreciated. Greg

THE END OF BELONGING (Greg Madison)
The author presents us with unusual reading material for Authonomy, an intellectual study of migration. His interest in this was kindled, as it has been for many persons, by a short trip from London (England) to Calcutta. Few persons can be unaffected by their first vision of the hitherto unknown disparities in life, the depressed circumtances of Tower Hamlets are nothing compared to the slums and hopelessness of India.
From there we move to migration, and he touches on the reasons for this.
Having known wartime and post-war Europe and involved in far too many wars across Asia, Europe and Africa since then, migration of persons and populations has been an immediate part of my life, and impinges if indirectly on everyone now.
I've long distinguished between "going from" and "coming to." Sometimes current living conditions are intolerable, and one has to leave a country -- Jews in Germany going to NYC. Sometimes there is hope of a better life for oneself or one's children -- middle class professionals coming from India to Canada.
What has made an enormous difference to the migrant is the ability to travel back to the country of origin. Even post-war, it was expected there would be no return, now many persons return to their country of origin on an annual basis. So where is home? It's often in both countries.
"Home" for many persons was "where I hang my hat." For some it was an institution, "The Regiment."
My favourite definition is the Vietnamese word for wife (nha toi) which also means "home" -- my wife is my home.
Fascinating study and backed
mch
http://mclementhall.com

GregMadison wrote 1799 days ago

Dear MCH
Thanks for your feedback. Much appreciated. Greg

THE END OF BELONGING (Greg Madison)
The author presents us with unusual reading material for Authonomy, an intellectual study of migration. His interest in this was kindled, as it has been for many persons, by a short trip from London (England) to Calcutta. Few persons can be unaffected by their first vision of the hitherto unknown disparities in life, the depressed circumtances of Tower Hamlets are nothing compared to the slums and hopelessness of India.
From there we move to migration, and he touches on the reasons for this.
Having known wartime and post-war Europe and involved in far too many wars across Asia, Europe and Africa since then, migration of persons and populations has been an immediate part of my life, and impinges if indirectly on everyone now.
I've long distinguished between "going from" and "coming to." Sometimes current living conditions are intolerable, and one has to leave a country -- Jews in Germany going to NYC. Sometimes there is hope of a better life for oneself or one's children -- middle class professionals coming from India to Canada.
What has made an enormous difference to the migrant is the ability to travel back to the country of origin. Even post-war, it was expected there would be no return, now many persons return to their country of origin on an annual basis. So where is home? It's often in both countries.
"Home" for many persons was "where I hang my hat." For some it was an institution, "The Regiment."
My favourite definition is the Vietnamese word for wife (nha toi) which also means "home" -- my wife is my home.
Fascinating study and backed
mch
http://mclementhall.com

GregMadison wrote 1799 days ago

Dear Lucy
Thanks for your comments. I look forward to your feedback. Best wishes, Greg

Hi Greg,
This is a fascinating subject, and one well worthy of examination. I worked with a few 'expats' and as I got to know them I did find myself wondering about their various personal reasons for living abroad, and my own too of course. I've just read a couple of chapters as it's hard going on screen, but so far it's definitely thought-provoking. I'll be interested to see what conclusions you reach. Best of luck with this.
Lucy

Lucy Heath wrote 1799 days ago

Hi Greg,
This is a fascinating subject, and one well worthy of examination. I worked with a few 'expats' and as I got to know them I did find myself wondering about their various personal reasons for living abroad, and my own too of course. I've just read a couple of chapters as it's hard going on screen, but so far it's definitely thought-provoking. I'll be interested to see what conclusions you reach. Best of luck with this.
Lucy

m clement hall wrote 1809 days ago

THE END OF BELONGING (Greg Madison)
The author presents us with unusual reading material for Authonomy, an intellectual study of migration. His interest in this was kindled, as it has been for many persons, by a short trip from London (England) to Calcutta. Few persons can be unaffected by their first vision of the hitherto unknown disparities in life, the depressed circumtances of Tower Hamlets are nothing compared to the slums and hopelessness of India.
From there we move to migration, and he touches on the reasons for this.
Having known wartime and post-war Europe and involved in far too many wars across Asia, Europe and Africa since then, migration of persons and populations has been an immediate part of my life, and impinges if indirectly on everyone now.
I've long distinguished between "going from" and "coming to." Sometimes current living conditions are intolerable, and one has to leave a country -- Jews in Germany going to NYC. Sometimes there is hope of a better life for oneself or one's children -- middle class professionals coming from India to Canada.
What has made an enormous difference to the migrant is the ability to travel back to the country of origin. Even post-war, it was expected there would be no return, now many persons return to their country of origin on an annual basis. So where is home? It's often in both countries.
"Home" for many persons was "where I hang my hat." For some it was an institution, "The Regiment."
My favourite definition is the Vietnamese word for wife (nha toi) which also means "home" -- my wife is my home.
Fascinating study and backed
mch
http://mclementhall.com

Patty wrote 1811 days ago

Greg,

I read four chapters of this book, and it offers an interesting angle to this issue.
Some silly musings.
As population biologist, I tend to approach things from a whole-population angle. It is obviously in the interest of a population to acquire a gene-base as wide and varied as possible (in a Darwinian sense), therefore, a certain percentage of people will be born with an innate wander-lust. Even in days long gone by, people ventured into the next kingdom, the next tribe to sow the oats in wider pastures, so to speak. It is modern technology that has allowed us to wander further than was previously possible. For me, the explanation would be wholly biological.
As for what the individual wanderer feels and what makes him or her take the plunge, that is where this book comes in. I would be careful not to suggest that there is somehow anything 'wrong' with people who leave, or with their families. Some people just don't have the 'need' to belong. Their stimulation comes from different-ness rather than same-ness. For the expats in our family, it would be impossible to say why they left their rich western countries and supportive families. They just did. You're right in that it's a given almost from birth, but I don't think the circumstances in their lives had anything to do with it. They would have left regardless and if asked why, they'd scratch their heads and would have to think really hard about a reason. other than 'because I wanted to'.

GregMadison wrote 1811 days ago

Dear Amanda. Thanks for your initial impressions. I hope you continue to find something interesting in End of Belonging. Cheers, Greg

Hello Greg:

I've just discovered your book and read the first chapter, so I had to make room on my shelf for it immediately. In my own search for "where I belong" I've explored psychology, philosophy, religion, history and many belief systems. Without my closeness to my family, I too, could've become an "existential wanderer" as I did not feel I belonged where I was. I credit my feeling of rootedness now with the results of that lifelong search. Your book will be eagerly received by many people for it's down-to-earth presentation as it fulfills a need that many of us have to understand the paths we've taken. I'll be reading more, of course.

Amanda

GregMadison wrote 1811 days ago

Thanks for your kind comments and please do refer friends to the book. Cheers!

Greg,

I almost immediately shelved your book upon reading the pitch/synopsis. I'll admit I've always had a weakness for pop psychology, but this is a really unique angle and one that, I feel, really speaks to me. I'm an American, and yet all (well, most) of the fiction I write deals with cultures other than my own. I've been told that I capture 'other' cultures remarkably well, which would seem to make sense when you consider the feelings of alienation and disgust I feel with my own. Even with that, I'm not a misanthrope...it's just hard to explain :) Perhaps your book will shed some light. If it doesn't, then let's hope it's an enjoyable read.

late edit: I was a bit perplexed by your labeling yourself an 'existential psychologist'. I'll attribute that to some overseas differences in psych terminology. I've read near all the 'existential philosophy' from the middle-late 20th century that exists in the world. I guess it's time to delve into existential psychology, whatever that may be.

later edit:

Greg,

I started to read and just could not stop, even though it's endangering the chances that I wake up on time tomorrow. This book is wonderful; I feel that it describes me very well. Whenever I travel, people approach me and ask me if there's any trouble or whether I'm lost, and meanwhile, here at 'home', I feel like I can operate perfectly well, even though I picture my tenure here only in terms of how long it'll be until I get out.

Fascinating read supported by solid writing. I will be recommending this to some friends who I know have similar feelings. Honestly, I don't know why you're on Authonomy...this book should be in the stores. I don't believe I've ever read anything quite like it, particularly something targeted at such a modern audience. I can't say I've followed the latest trends in popular psychology, but I think you really have something here. Or maybe there just aren't enough 'existential migrants' like you and me out there to support this :)

jchristy wrote 1811 days ago

Greg,

I almost immediately shelved your book upon reading the pitch/synopsis. I'll admit I've always had a weakness for pop psychology, but this is a really unique angle and one that, I feel, really speaks to me. I'm an American, and yet all (well, most) of the fiction I write deals with cultures other than my own. I've been told that I capture 'other' cultures remarkably well, which would seem to make sense when you consider the feelings of alienation and disgust I feel with my own. Even with that, I'm not a misanthrope...it's just hard to explain :) Perhaps your book will shed some light. If it doesn't, then let's hope it's an enjoyable read.

late edit: I was a bit perplexed by your labeling yourself an 'existential psychologist'. I'll attribute that to some overseas differences in psych terminology. I've read near all the 'existential philosophy' from the middle-late 20th century that exists in the world. I guess it's time to delve into existential psychology, whatever that may be.

later edit:

Greg,

I started to read and just could not stop, even though it's endangering the chances that I wake up on time tomorrow. This book is wonderful; I feel that it describes me very well. Whenever I travel, people approach me and ask me if there's any trouble or whether I'm lost, and meanwhile, here at 'home', I feel like I can operate perfectly well, even though I picture my tenure here only in terms of how long it'll be until I get out.

Fascinating read supported by solid writing. I will be recommending this to some friends who I know have similar feelings. Honestly, I don't know why you're on Authonomy...this book should be in the stores. I don't believe I've ever read anything quite like it, particularly something targeted at such a modern audience. I can't say I've followed the latest trends in popular psychology, but I think you really have something here. Or maybe there just aren't enough 'existential migrants' like you and me out there to support this :)

Amanda Adams wrote 1811 days ago

Hello Greg:

I've just discovered your book and read the first chapter, so I had to make room on my shelf for it immediately. In my own search for "where I belong" I've explored psychology, philosophy, religion, history and many belief systems. Without my closeness to my family, I too, could've become an "existential wanderer" as I did not feel I belonged where I was. I credit my feeling of rootedness now with the results of that lifelong search. Your book will be eagerly received by many people for it's down-to-earth presentation as it fulfills a need that many of us have to understand the paths we've taken. I'll be reading more, of course.

Amanda

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