Leavening society: the role of religious organisations in integration processes in Norway

Trotter, Stephen Richard (2019) Leavening society: the role of religious organisations in integration processes in Norway. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3368847


This thesis explores how religious organisations can influence integration processes in Norway through a case study of the Catholic Church, a Catholic charity, and a Catholic youth association. In order to fully understand the role of religious organisations, this thesis also examined secular identities/identifications/organisations and how, if at all, they diverge in influencing integration processes. I provide an extensive literature review that sets up a discursive framework, which allows me to draw together a range of concepts and understandings, and to critically analyse the findings in their appropriate context. The framework suggests a continuum of understanding integration processes, marked by three ideal types: a Redistributie Discourse of Exclusion (RED/Redintegration), a Social Integrationist Discourse (SID), and a Moral Underclass Discourse (MUD). Rather than imposing a view of integration processes on the participants and research, the discursive framework allows them to express nuanced understandings of how integration processes operate and how they may be shaped.

Integration processes are processes of societal reconstitution, and require an in-depth exploration of the contexts in which they occur. With the religious/secular emphasis of the thesis, this entails exploring both constructions of the nation and the development of Catholicism in Norway. Utilising a range of qualitative methods, centred on ethnography, I gathered data from multiple organisations, religious and secular, and across multiple locations, over the course of fourteen months. This continuous, in-depth, qualitative research is essential to capturing the processual and contested nature of integration processes. What I discovered was that the perception of the end goal of integration processes was fundamental to how different organisations influenced integration processes. Similarly, what stood out was how the Social Integrationist Discourse was prevalent in both the secular and religious organisations. The functional emphasis of SID renders perspectives susceptible to Moral Underclass Discourses. The Church and its youth organisation, on the other hand, had a more open-ended perspective on integration processes, which was also expressed by the migrant research participants; exhibiting a Redintegrationist discourse.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Dr. Nicole Bourque supervised the thesis from 2014 until her untimely death in 2016.
Keywords: Integration, migration, catholicism, religion, sociology, social anthropology, integration processes, religiosity, secularism, Norway, Catholic Church.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Mulvey, Dr. Gareth and Pasura, Dr. Dominic
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Mr. Stephen Richard Trotter
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-75116
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2019 08:36
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2019 12:30
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.75116
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/75116

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