Religion and the intergenerational dynamics of citizenship: a comparison between African and Indian migrant families

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Abstract

This article discusses the potential role of religious care-work in the conceptualization and performance of citizenship across generations, using a comparative ethnographic study on the mothering practices of Indo-Mozambican (Ismaili and Hindu) and Cape Verdean (Christian) migrant families conducted in Portugal, the United Kingdom and Angola. The analysis shows that migrant mothers not only used specific religious resources to encourage their offspring to become more fully engaged with citizenship (in its normative, performative and affective aspects), but also converted these resources into different kinds of material and social capital, which simultaneously empowered the construction of their own and their children’s citizen identities and practices. The article highlights the contribution of religious care-work towards ensuring certain kinds of citizenship that foster pride of affiliation and belonging to a given group identity, while simultaneously promoting intergroup identifications to engage across ethnic and religious boundaries. This represents a stark contrast with official political discourse, which tends to view migrant mothering as simply based on intergenerational continuity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-280
JournalEuropean Journal of Women’s Studies
Volume24
Issue number3
Early online date2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Citizenship
  • identities
  • migration
  • mothering
  • religion

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