The role of religion in the adaptation of immigrants in the United States
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For immigrants in the United States, there are numerous factors, including education, language, and ethnicity, influencing how they adapt. In this thesis, I examine the roles religious participation serves for African immigrants as they adapt. Three roles were considered: the provision of basic needs assistance, development of social networks and capital, and spiritual and emotional benefits. To determine these functions, African immigrants in Georgia were interviewed and surveyed. Primarily, religion served as a source of spiritual and emotional benefits. There were some, although limited, social benefits from religious involvement. However, religious institutions were not a source of basic needs assistance. The functions religion serves may be a function of the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, such as language and education, of the immigrants. These roles may be filled through employment and family contacts. There are areas where assistance could be provided, such as immigration status and cultural familiarity.