Christian bilingual practices and hybrid identities as vehicles of migrant integration

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter investigates the conversion journeys from atheism to evangelical Christianity of a group of first-generation Chinese Australians. Based on qualitative open-ended interviews, we find that migration is experienced as an existential crisis of economic insecurity, loss of status, language barriers, marital problems, and parenting dilemmas. In this context, churches provide practical support. The support and community offered may lead to the acceptance of a new belief system. The long-term consolidation of the benefits of conversion were achieved through bilingual and bicultural practices and hybrid and adhesive identities, resulting in personal well-being and a high level of social integration. Christian beliefs also became a kind of objective standard that allowed participants to bridge generational, linguistic, and cultural gaps with their second-generation children. The chapter closes with a discussion of the lessons that this research holds for secular institutions as they try to improve the social integration of newcomers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage and spirit
Subtitle of host publicationexploring languages, religions and spirituality in Australia today
EditorsRobyn Moloney, Shenouda Mansour
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783030930646
ISBN (Print)9783030930639
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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