NCSR 2008 - Urban Diversity and Religious Traditions
13-15 August 2008, Åbo Akademi University

Religion and integration

Jørn Borup

The roles of religion and ethnicity as identity markers and social capital elements in integration processes have often been pointed out as general features within the sociological studies of contemporary religion. Often these are closely related to structures and processes within both host country (e.g., multiculturalism/monoculturalism) and countries of origin (e.g., cultural ideals, education possibilities, gender status). But what if a migrant population with common culture of origin adheres to two distinctively different religions? Are there differences in values, beliefs and practices? Are there different reception strategies and possibilities in the host country?
This paper gives a presentation of an ongoing research project, based on quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews, on the role and function of religion among the Vietnamese in Denmark. The religiosity of these are difficult to measure, but an approximate split between Buddhists and Catholics gives an interesting field in which to analyze, speculate and explore possible causal connections between religion, ethnicity and integration.