Faith as Social Capital in Britain: How Religious Involvement Contributes to the Integration of Ethnic Minorities

By Yinxuan Huang.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 16, 2015 Free Download

The literature on religious social capital has treated it as catalyst for blurring cultural distinctiveness and narrowing gaps in socioeconomic outcomes between the ethnic majorities and minorities. Although it is evident that Britain has become more secular in numbers, whether such social implications of faith as social capital have also declined remains unclear. This paper attempts to address the long-neglected distinctions between different patterns of religious involvement in the British religious community and their implications to integration. Using pooled 2007-11 Citizenship Survey data, this paper classifies six types of religious involvement on the basis of religious community participation and subjective religiosity. Results in multivariate analyses reveal that the roles that an individual plays during religious community participation are strongly associated with his/her sociodemographic characteristics. Another important finding is that different kinds of religious involvement may underpin different "pathways" into wider civic and economic participation beyond church. British ethnic minorities who are actively engaged with religious community participation are more likely to have better socioeconomic outcomes. Conversely, their deeply religious counterparts who are not participating do not display the same outcomes.

Keywords: Religious Involvement, British Ethnic Minorities, Integration

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.13-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 16, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 711.593KB)).

Yinxuan Huang

PhD Student, The Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research (CMIST), The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK