Role of the Church in Immigrants’ Urban Integration: the case of Singaporean Immigrants in three churches in the Tri-cities, BC

Date created: 
Peter V. Hall
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Bonding social capital
Bridging social capital
Urban/economic/social/cultural integration
Immigrant church
Canadian church

This study utilises the theory of bonding and bridging social capital to understand the role of religious institutions in helping immigrants in their integration. There is a growing research interest in understanding immigrants’ labour market outcomes, using the aforementioned theory; with most scholars concluding that bridging social capital is more efficacious. Besides economic integration, this study also looks at the social and cultural integration of immigrants within the context of two predominantly immigrant and one predominantly Canadian churches in the Tri-cities, BC. 85 survey responses and 18 in-depth interviews of leaders and congregants found that the churches fulfill four roles for immigrants: ‘stepping stone’; integration needs; roots/identity retention and ‘leap frogging’. In conclusion, deriving a deeper understanding of how bonding and bridging social capital worked in the three churches, I argue that immigrant and Canadian churches play important and complementary roles in immigrant integration.

Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.
Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
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