Immigrant Religious Networks in Milan: Ethnic Churches as Source of Social Capital

Journal title MONDI MIGRANTI
Author/s Samuele Davide Molli
Publishing Year 2020 Issue 2020/1
Language English Pages 20 P. 97-116 File size 191 KB
DOI 10.3280/MM2020-001006
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This article investigates migrants’ networking strategies in the case of religious involvement. Adopting a key sociological concept, namely social capital, it analyses in which ways migrants turn to religion in order to create and develop ties. It then moves on to discuss the implications of such strategies in terms of resources shared to support needs derived from settlement experiences. The paper draws from data collected within catholic ethnic churches in Milan, which is a different focus from the common target on Islam. A flourishing religious pluralism has indeed emerged in the city; this being a process that also involves Christian denominations. Thus, the article discusses the role of social capital, how it comes into being in relation to religious spaces, how it develops through communitarian experiences and finally how it evolves and produces pivotal resources able to meet migrants’ needs. Finally, this article intends to show how religion may represent an area of research useful for debating integration processes.

Keywords: Religion and immigration; social capital; integration; ethnic churches; Catholicism.

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Samuele Davide Molli, Immigrant Religious Networks in Milan: Ethnic Churches as Source of Social Capital in "MONDI MIGRANTI" 1/2020, pp 97-116, DOI: 10.3280/MM2020-001006