Culture, Identity, and Religion

Migration has implications for all aspects of culture, identity, and religion. All movement, whether within or across borders, has the potential to challenge and reshape responsibilities, gender norms, religious practices and beliefs, social categories and relationships, political and family ties back home, and cultural markers and practices. Within this context, migration may create spaces for autonomy and empowerment but also vulnerability and crisis. Individuals who migrate may experience multiple stresses that impact their mental well-being including the loss of social support systems, adjustment to new cultures, changing gender norms and a reshaping of their concept of self. Language and religious differences can further create a sense of isolation. Individuals who remain in their countries of origin may also find their roles, culture and identities shifting to adapt to the absence of the migrant. These junctures and disjunctures can have profound impacts on the identities of all persons and countries participating in migration.  Exploring the connections between migration, culture, identity, and religion will help deepen understandings of migrant choices to undertake their journeys, their selection of destinations, their settlement and integration experiences, the impact on those who stay behind as well as the experience of returning to countries of origin.

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