Religion and Immigration: Exploring the role of one religious institution in integrating Kerala Christian young immigrants in Canada
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Mount Saint Vincent University
The current research investigated religion and immigration by exploring the role of one religious institution in integrating Kerala Christian young immigrants in Canada. This study interviewed three men and three women belonging to six different families who immigrated from Kerala in the last six months to seven years with their families, including young children. They were regular attendees (at least twice a month) of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Two different sampling techniques— purposive sampling and snowball sampling were employed to select the participants who took part in the study. Understanding and interpreting the findings from this study were conducted according to Bronfenbrenner's Social Ecological Model (1977), as well as Bourdieu’s notion of Social Capital (1986). For the data collection, content analysis on publicly available resources such as the church website and social media sites were used followed by individual interviews. The framework for coding and examining the findings was thematic analysis. This research made use of In vivo coding without any preconceived themes, thereby ensuring the codes were developed from the words of the participants’ rather than previously fixed by the researcher. The results indicated that the religious institution named Holy Family Catholic Church, Halifax with its services and programmes has helped new immigrants and their children from Kerala, India in their integration into the wider Canadian society.