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Joining the Choir: Religious Membership and Social Trust Among Transnational Ghanaians (Hardback)
  • Joining the Choir: Religious Membership and Social Trust Among Transnational Ghanaians (Hardback)
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Joining the Choir: Religious Membership and Social Trust Among Transnational Ghanaians (Hardback)

(author)
£53.00
Hardback 240 Pages / Published: 26/04/2018
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Immigration and race are contentious issues in North America. As a result, immigrants from Ghana and other countries of West Africa confront major challenges in the social context of the United States, even as their experiences and accomplishments confound stereotypes. Religious congregations have often helped immigrants navigate the tricky waters of integration in the past; yet how do these particular black immigrants approach organized religion in light of their identities and aspirations? What are they looking for in religious membership, and how do they find it? In Joining the Choir, Nicolette D. Manglos-Weber takes a deeply personal look at the lives of a few central characters in Accra, Ghana and Chicago, Illinois, examining what religious membership means for them as Christians, transnational Ghanaians, and aspirational migrants. She sheds light on their search for people they can trust and their desires to transcend divisions of race, ethnicity, and nationality in the context of Evangelical Christianity. Her characters are complex, motivated, and adaptable people for whom religious membership answers some questions of integration and raises others. The stories of these migrants show how racial divides are subtly perpetuated within congregations in spite of hopes for religious-based assimilation. Yet they also reveal the potential of religious-based personal trust to bridge those divides, as an imaginative and symbolic leap of faith with the unknown stranger. Finally, their stories highlight the continuing role of religion as a portable basis of trust in the modern world, where more and more people live between nations.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780190841041
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 492 g
Dimensions: 242 x 163 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Weaving together a rich tapestry of individual life portraits, Manglos-Weber's sociological analysis of trust brings us on a delightful journey through the lives of several central characters, showing how they negotiate their faith in God with their immigrant realities. * Girish Daswani, Reading Religion *
This lucid, beautifully written study of a global Pentecostal church captures genuinely transnational experience. Based on rich fieldwork in Ghana and the U.S., Joining the Choir draws a compelling portrait of individual life trajectories as Ghanaians reimagine identities, aspirations and social connections in an unfamiliar place. A powerful sociological analysis of social trust in migrant communities, it shows how religious ritual, symbols, and sociability provide symbolic resources that create trust, both trust among congregants and trust in a future they are still trying to create. * Ann Swidler, co-author of A Fraught Embrace: The Romance and Reality of AIDS Altruism in Africa *
The ethnographic immersion is the strength of this book, allowing Manglos-Weber to break the dualism between outsider and insider. Her voice and experiences are one of many illustrations of the broader social process she describes: how trust networks emerge among transnational Ghanaian Christians. This book will surely contribute to the sociology of migration as well as African studies. Moreover, Manglos-Weber makes a substantive contribution to understanding the imaginative and symbolic leaps of faith we all make when trusting others. * Margarita A. Mooney, Associate Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary *
Nicolette Manglos-Weber gives us a sensitive and engaging transnational ethnography of 'aspirational migrants' -Ghanaians in the U.S. seeking opportunities for better lives while not jettisoning their home country. They face the 'problem of trust' that confronts many newcomers: how to decide which relationships to invest in and which people can truly be of help. She shows how religious choices are often grounded in concerns with social trust, and how trust networks can in turn transform churches as well as migrants's lives and aspirations. A welcome addition to the immigration and religion literature. * Rhys H. Williams, Professor of Religion, Loyola University Chicago *

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