Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
RN34_04: Managing religious rights in multicultural societies I
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Christophe Monnot, University of Strasbourg
Location: BS.4.05A
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Fourth Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road

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Knives, Religion and Communities: An Ethnographic Study of Knife Crime and its Cultures in Croydon, London

Bartholomew Alexander Konechni

L'Institut d'études politiques de Paris, France

Following the rise of knife crime in London a series of speculative arguments as to its social causes have followed in its wake. Everything from drill music to social media has been accused of playing a role. This paper, based on three months of ethnographic fieldwork in Croydon, seeks to move beyond this speculation and argue that religious organisation has played a pivotal role in creating the conditions for the rise of knife crime.

Croydon was at the centre of the 2016/2017 rise in knife crime; with London as a whole experiencing a 24 percent increase in the total number of knife crimes reported while Croydon experienced a 103 percent increase (Allen and Lukas, 2018). This article attempts to show that this concentrated rise is a problematic one which does not conform to arguments put forward in the public arena. Instead, this paper attempts to reconceptualise the problem of London knife crime as one of a lack of “collective efficacy” (Sampson, 2018) within and between certain ethno-religious groups leading to a redefinition of the norms of public spaces.

Differentiated levels of community organisations and beliefs systems built around the concept of an unseen cosmic battle have left the Croydon community vulnerable to publicly violent responses to increasingly difficult social and economic conditions. While some religions have successfully managed to prevent this degeneration of governing norms through the daily regulation of their members lives, looser organisations have allowed their congregations to be subsumed in violence.

Religion and International Politics in Second Modernity: Reassessing the role of religious factor in EU policy-making.

Chrysa K. Almpani

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

In the fragile times of Second Modernity, religion arises as a prominent issue of sociological analysis that could allow a better understanding of the modern world and its ambiguities. In drawing upon the theoretical background of reflexive modernization (Ul. Beck), this paper will focus on the intersection between religion and politics, in attempt to approach the role that the religious factor can play as a ‘soft power’ agent in foreign policy-making, diplomacy and conflict resolution at international level. Special attention is paid to the dialectical relationship between religion and human rights in the context of the increasing interdependence that characterizes the modern world and underlines the importance of religion in the study of international politics.

The analysis is based on a qualitative research through in-depth interviews that has been conducted in 2018-2019 and was addressed to political representatives at EU level (politicians, MEPs, foreign-policy practitioners, policy advisors) and representatives of religious institutions which work in close cooperation with policy makers, providing expertise and advocacy on EU policies. Either considering religion as a political trend, a fundamental human right, a driver of reconciliation or a potential source of conflict, the results show that most of the interviewees recognize the need of ‘inclusivity’ of religious actors to the political dialogue. The present research is coordinated with the international discourse on the reawakening interest of political science to the religious factor and it aims to enhance an interdisciplinary, long-term and thorough research on the field.

Religion on the borders. Polish Tartars and Lemko case.

Katarzyna Warmińska1, Ewa Michna2

1Cracow University of Economics, Poland; 2Jagiellonian University, Poland

The relationship between religion and ethnicity could have multidimensional character. On the one hand, religion could be used as the main marker of ethnicity and be located strongly and permanently on symbolic boundaries of a community. On the other hand, religion can be situationally used in social interactions to communicate differences or similarities between social actors, which underlines the contextuality and the dynamic of identity processes. In both cases, the ethnicisation of religion as well as religiousization of ethnicity could be observed.

In this paper, we would like to analyse the identity strategies undertaken by the members of two groups - the Lemkos and the Polish Tartars living in Poland nowadays, and we will focus the attention on two issues. First, both communities are minorities in an ethnic and religious aspects. Consequently, to understand the way how they construct symbolic boundaries with dominant group e.g. the Polish Catholics means to take into consideration the structural aspects, especially in the present times of the dominance of religious nationalism in the country.

Second issue important in this matter is the scope and character of differences. The Lemkos being East Christians and the Polish Tartars being Muslim in a Catholic country face different challenges.

The comparison of these two communities helps to demonstrate some general problems or trends concerning the employment of religion by minority groups in the process of identity construction and the specificity of each of them arising from different history and cultural resources as well as ethnic strategies undertaken in the „we” – „they” relations.

The Involvement in Religious Associations: What Role in the Upward Mobility of Second Generations Migrants?

Giulia Marroccoli

University of Turin, University Lumière Lyon 2

This paper is focused on the role played by the engagement in religious associations in the upward social mobility among second generations migrants. Does the involvement in this kind of associations sustain and contribute to the creation of a middle class among people of foreign origin? When we compare first and second generations, does this present different effects on social mobility? Overall, does this kind of engagement sustain upward mobility?

Moreover, as several studies point out, it is noteworthy that participation in religious associations partly overlaps the commitment within the ethnic ones. Therefore, the impact and relevance of the wider relationship with the co-ethnic community will be considered as well.

Research on young generations of foreign origin has focused mostly on school insertion, while the successive phase of entering the labour market appears to be less investigated. Moreover, studies based in Southern Europe focus mainly on disadvantaged and/or marginal situations, whereas a lack of analysis is observed in the migrants’ upward social trajectories – of both first and second generations.

This proposal is based on data from a current PhD research, carried out in the cities of Turin and Lyon, and based on in-depth interviews with a snowball sampling technique. The study investigates second generations upward pathways along five main analysis dimensions: family background and migration history, housing situation, networks and relationships, work pathways, social status. Furthermore, the aim is to focus on the structures of constraints and opportunities shown by the two different contexts, thus are taken into consideration people of different origins.

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