Publication Date: September 13, 2022
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“This is perhaps the richest book on belonging you’ll ever read.… The inspiration one draws from every page of this book is an enhanced sense of what is possible. It revives the very thing we need most in these times: hope.” —Claude M. Steele, author of Whistling Vivaldi
We live in enormously divisive times. From politics to race, religion, gender, and class, division runs rampant. In 2020, 40 percent of each political party said that supporters of the opposing party were “downright evil.” In 2019, hate crimes reached a ten-year high in the United States. One in five Americans suffers from chronic loneliness. How did we become so alienated? Why is our sense of belonging so undermined? What if there were a set of science-backed techniques for navigating modern social life that could help us overcome our differences, create empathy, and forge lasting connections even across divides?In Belonging, Stanford University professor Geoffrey L. Cohen applies his and others’ groundbreaking research to the myriad problems of communal existence and offers concrete solutions for improving daily life. We all feel a deep need to belong, but most of us don’t fully appreciate that need in others. Often inadvertently, we behave in ways that threaten others’ sense of belonging. Yet small acts that establish connection, brief activities such as reflecting on our core values, and a slew of practices that Cohen defines as “situation-crafting” have been shown to lessen political polarization, improve motivation and performance in school and work, combat racism in our communities, enhance health and well-being, and unleash the potential in ourselves and in our relationships. Belonging is essential for managers, educators, parents, administrators, caregivers, and everyone who wants those around them to thrive.
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