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Around a third of Asian migrants to Australia self-identify as Christians, and many join churches where they meet fellow migrants and other Australians. Churches might thus be places that can foster the integration of Asian migrants into Australian society. This paper uses social network and social capital theory to examine the prevalence of bonding and bridging among 61,386 churchgoers from 2135 Protestant churches who completed the Australian National Church Life Survey in 2011. We compared levels of bonding and bridging social ties of first-generation Asian migrants (FGAM) with Australians born of Australian-born parents (ABOAP). FGAM joining congregations had fewer social ties than ABOAP, and developed bridging (but not bonding) more slowly. FGAM had lower bonding but higher bridging in MonoAnglo congregations compared with Multicultural or MonoAsian congregations. The results suggest that FGAM who are in MonoAnglo churches may be less tightly bound to their congregation, but more likely to bridge beyond it, than are FGAM in multicultural or largely Asian congregations.


NCLS Research

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Journal Article

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