Migration & Religious Belief & Practice among Polish Catholics in Edinburgh
AbstractThe relationship between belief and changing social conditions has been a theme of sociological research for many years. In Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776) we have the recommendation of religion for the purposes of combating alienation suffered as a result of the urban environment of the ‘society of strangers.’ This thesis looks at the longstanding relationship between religious belief and the difficulties faced by ten Polish immigrants living in Edinburgh as they set about the task of maintaining (or losing) their religious beliefs and practices. This dissertation looks at how self-identifying Polish Catholic migrants cope with the pressures of maintaining a sense of religion in an environment that is largely secular in comparison to their native Polish society and culture and, in particular, seeks to explore the subjective lived experiences of the ‘religious self’ in a new social context using semi-structured interviews and uncover the relevant social pressures and the existential 'cut and thrust’ of this situation. Integrating sociological phenomenology, the study indicated that the subjective lived experiences of the ‘Polish Catholic self’ fell into two main categories: (1) Religious belief / practices being strengthened as a result of a new social and non-religious context and (2) Religious belief / practice being undermined as a result of a new social and non-religious context.
Anonymous, (2012) Migration & Religious Belief & Practice among Polish Catholics in Edinburgh. Other thesis, Queen Margaret University.