Belonging and language

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This article contributes to a growing debate within the field of early childhood education about the concept of ‘belonging’. It continues from earlier discussions that commented on the adoption of Belonging as a key term in the development of a national curriculum for the early years in Australia in 2009, as well as increasingly common references to belonging in various aspects of debate within the field. The article focuses specifically on the idea of belonging as it has emerged within existentialist philosophy in the 20th century, and more recent post-structuralist theories, especially the work of Jacques Derrida. The article ties belonging to language as a means of redefining approaches in early childhood education to the notions of place and context, so as to more rigorously connect ‘belonging’ to the philosophical debates of the 21st century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-182
Number of pages13
JournalGlobal Studies of Childhood
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Belonging
  • deconstruction
  • ethics
  • language

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