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4.1 | 2013
Religion and development
Religion et développement

Using Religious Capital to Alleviate Poverty? - A Case Study of Cross-Border Migration in South-China (abstract)

Sam Wong
p. 174-191
Translation(s):
Utiliser le capital religieux pour réduire la pauvreté ? Une étude de cas de la migration transfrontalière dans le sud de la Chine

Abstract

Laurence Iannaccone’s notion of religious capital highlights the capability of individuals to draw on resources from religious- or faith-based practices, and then convert religious capital into human, social and financial capital. The processes of capital accumulation and conversion have significant implications for poverty reduction. However, in its examination of the cross-border experiences of poor female Chinese migrants in South China, this chapter finds that religious capital is severely inequitably distributed within migrant communities. Religious involvement is both time- and resource- demanding, and the very poor face considerable constraints in negotiating access to religious capital. Empirical evidence indicates that while some migrants are successful in improving their material conditions and experience upward social mobility, the failure to address broader, deep-rooted causes of poverty, such as social discrimination, has stymied more systemic change. Worse still, members of the ruling class use religious symbols and rituals to reinforce their domination. This chapter calls for placing greater emphasis on the distributional effect of religious capital, with the aim of offering poor people better support for their religious participation.

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Editor's notes

Paperback reference : Wong, S. (2013) "Using Religious Capital to Alleviate Poverty? - A Case Study of Cross-Border Migration in South-China", in International Development Policy: Religion and Development, No.4, Geneva: Graduate Institute Publications, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 174-191.

References

Bibliographical reference

Sam Wong, « Using Religious Capital to Alleviate Poverty? - A Case Study of Cross-Border Migration in South-China (abstract) »,International Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement, 4.1 | 2013, 174-191.

Electronic reference

Sam Wong, « Using Religious Capital to Alleviate Poverty? - A Case Study of Cross-Border Migration in South-China (abstract) », International Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement [Online], 4.1 | 2013, Online since 14 February 2013, connection on 25 September 2017. URL : http://poldev.revues.org/1460 ; DOI : 10.4000/poldev.1460

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About the author

Sam Wong

Lecturer in the Department of Human Geography, School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Liverpool, UK. He holds a PhD from the University of Bradford, Centre for International Development. His research interests revolve around renewable energy and sustainable technology. To date, he has worked in South Asia, West Africa, South America, China and England.

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Copyright

Creative Commons License
International Development Policy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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