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The project "Digital Relationships and Local Religious Communities" deals with religious networks and the acquisition of religious knowledge among young immigrants and children of immigrants in Switzerland.
COVID-19 is fueling an increasing virtualization of faith spaces. At the same time, public insecurities and even resentment toward certain migrant groups are apparent, which arise, among other things, from the fact too is known with certainty about lived migrant religiosities and religious rootedness.
For these reasons as well, we would like to find out the ways in which digital media and local communities are important for 16-to-35-year-olds from immigrant families when they are seeking religious information or religious advice. In addition, we examine the relationship between virtual and non-virtual knowledge acquisition: When do they compete with one another, when is one of the two preferred, when do they complement one another, and when do they function as parallel sources with no central points of contact?
In order to find comprehensive and nuanced answers to these and other questions, we work with young people from various traditions—for example, Muslims, Christians, and Hindus. In doing so, we employ a methodology that incorporates, among other things, semi-structured interviews, cognitive methods such as free listings, social network analyses and participant observation (online and offline).