Religiously Motivated Migration

The Sociological Quarterly

Anderson, Cory. 2016.

57(3):387-414.

Research Points
  • Religiously motivated migration is undertheorized in migration research, which has primarily focused on the economically driven, self-interested migration motivations of individuals and households.

  • Religion can motivate migration as a type of value-rational social action, especially in cohesive groups that maintain long-distance affiliation networks and organize community-level migrations.

  • Main religious migration motivators include: (1) sacred commands/doctrine, like missions, (2) finding a context more conducive to religious practice, and (3) escaping religious competition.

  • Amish-Mennonite case study illustrates how evangelization efforts, preference for rural living, and religious competition incentivized community-level migration.

  • Literature reviews of Jews, Muslims, Puritans, Mormons, and Mennonites further illustrate the theoretical framework.

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