Conviviality in Motion connected: Affiliated Members


Frederick Gyamfi Mensah

Response to Racism and Xenophobia in the Context of Global Migration: Ghanaian Christians in Switzerland and South Africa (Dissertation project)

“If I am able to make the long journey here by the grace of God, then I am capable of breaking all other barriers that stand my way with the help of the same God.” This statement by a Ghanaian migrant summarizes the motivation and the resolve of most African migrants to pursue their dreams of seeking better life for themselves and their families despite the many odds in the destination countries. One of the obvious barriers which hinder and impede the success of African migrants is racism and xenophobia. This social problem slows down the progress of most migrants and gets them struggling for many years. My research project is a sub-project of a bigger topic: African religious migrant communities in the context of racism and xenophobia, a study which brings together in dialogue the academic disciplines of migration, race and religion.

To keep their regular touch with God, religious belonging is very important to the Christian African migrants. As an international research reject, I intend to focus on Ghanaian christian migrant communities in Switzerland and South Africa. I will investigate how Ghanaians respond to their experiences of racism and xenophobia. The following questions will be of particular interest: How does religious belonging help migrants create social capacity in response and adjustment to racism and xenophobia? To ask the same question in a more academic way: to what extent does religious belonging create social capacity to help migrants actively shape their living conditions in a diasporic situation that is frequently experienced as hostile and exclusionary?