Richard Ondicho Otiso


This study utilizes empirical data to focus on the role of religion in the migration process in light of two theories developed thus so far in the field of immigrant integration. This is achieved based on my own data collected in form of interviews in relation to east African immigrants living in Finland. I investigate whether the currently existing conceptual toolbox is sufficient enough to base an analysis of immigrant integration and how religion influences the process of immigration. Effects of religion are analysed based on individual east African and communal expressions of religious faith. I begin by exploring the concepts of migration and immigrant integration. I then proceed to evaluate the social exchange theory and the social bond theory while focusing on the experiences of east African immigrants in Finland that are captured via interviewing. I argue that despite the theoretical framework for analysing migration phenomena there is still a need for a deeper analysis of the key effects of religion on immigration processes. Additionally, east African immigrants in Finland often face difficulties in religious assimilation in the host society due to mainly language barriers and differences in religious practices. There is an equal need for more elaborate research on religious concepts since most of the currently existing theories are an amalgam of social factors appertaining to immigration processes. A separate focus on religion becomes a necessity since religion has become a juggernaut in migration phenomena.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejsss.v8i2.1353

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