The business of integration: super-diversity, migrants' religious entrepreneurship and social transformation in post-apartheid South Africa (completed)

Peter Kankonde Bukasa

There is an unparalleled amount of general resentment and xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals in post-Apartheid South Africa. Yet in this violent and migrant-unfriendly environment, we see a paradox in the numbers and social status of South Africans who are joining migrants’ Pentecostal churches. In fact, of all the things that relate to new migrants’ entrepreneurship in South Africa, none is as visible as their small businesses, or as imposing as their Pentecostal churches. Regardless of their origin and the nature of their beliefs, the survival and growth of religious organizations, as for any secular organization, depends on access to resources from its external environment. This PhD project, using sociological and ethnographic methods of inquiry, and comparing three extreme case studies (two successful and one unsuccessful), examined how Congolese and Nigerian migrant Pentecostal churches in neighbourhoods in greater Johannesburg construct and maintain their organizational legitimacy in a host social context that is so hostile. Since attracting locals was not enough, the project also examined how these migrant churches deal with the challenges to diversity management arising from their church members’ cultural differences in order to gain and sustain local membership and thereby ensure their survival, growth and social reproduction in the host

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