Outside Belongings argues against a psychological depth model of identity--one in which individuals possess an intrinsic quality that guarantees authentic belonging. Instead, Probyn proposes a model of identity that takes into account the desires of individuals, and groups of individuals, to belong. The main ideas she considers--"the outside", "the surface", and "belonging"--allow her to articulate, in concrete terms, her precise concerns about sexuality and nationality.
Elspeth Probyn is the Director of Women's Studies, University of Sydney. She is the author of Sexing the Self: Gendered Positions in Cultural Studies and the co-editor of Sexy Bodies: The Strange Carnalities of Feminism.