Christianity as a Culture of Mobility: A Case Study of Asian Transient Migrants in Singapore

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/

Abstract

More than ever before, the global and transnational movements of young people for work and study have become part of everyday life. Yet there is very little research on this phenomenon in relation to how actors in transience create strategies to cope with being away from home nation (place of birth and/or citizenship) and from family. As part of the findings of a larger international study on the identities, social networks and media/communication use of transient migrants, researchers found that Christianity featured prominently during life in transience for Asian respondents. This paper thus puts forward the notion that Christianity may well function as a culture of mobility by looking at its significance to Asian “foreign talent” transient migrants in Singapore. Through face-toface interviews with fifty-seven Asian working professionals and international students, this paper found thirty that not only identified themselves as Christian, but whose social networks were also made up of Asian foreign talent transient migrant Christians. This paper thus suggests that Asian foreign talent transient migrants turn to Christianity as a way of coping with everyday life in transience. The Christian groups they join allow them to create a sense of community while being away from the home nation. This sense of community however is with other transient migrants, rather than with locals.


Keywords

Asian Foreign Talent Transient Migrants, Christianity, community, Singapore

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Professor
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faruk
Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)