Because of the secularity of sociology, religion remains a relatively marginal field of study and the insights of the sociology of religion are generally ignored or overlooked within other subfields. But religion can be a force that deeply influences personal, community, and national life in nonobvious ways through shaping the social and political structures of society. Consequently, including an analysis of religion as a fundamental factor of social life could greatly enrich and even transform many subfields of sociology. In this essay, I focus on the sociology of migration and immigration, my area of research, and show how religion plays a central role in social, economic, and political processes surrounding migration. Drawing on case studies of migration and immigration of groups from India based on my research and that of others, I discuss how religion, through a variety of indirect and direct mechanisms, shapes migration patterns, remittance use, social incorporation into receiving societies, and forms of political mobilization.
- Indian diaspora
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Religious studies
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)