Harmony of the Seas?: Work, faith, and religious difference among multinational migrant workers on board cargo ships

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Abstract

This paper advances a long-standing sociological interest in the relationship between religion and work. As protections for freedom of religious expression have played a more central role in the US and Europe, questions have been raised about the implications for people who are associated with heterogeneous workplaces. In this context, we consider the work-based practices of multinational groups of migrant workers who self-affiliate to a variety of religions and none. Our research employed non-participant observation and semi-structured interviews with multinational groups of seafarers working on cargo vessels, as well as participant observation with seafarers and chaplains in ports. The findings indicate that religious beliefs offer solace and support to seafarers. However, they also highlight workers’ desire for religion to be kept private on board in order to avoid interpersonal conflict. The findings have broader application in a variety of diverse environments where migrant and indigenous workers are employed.

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APA

Sampson, H., Turgo, N., Cadge, W., Gilliat-Ray, S., & Smith, G. (2020). Harmony of the Seas?: Work, faith, and religious difference among multinational migrant workers on board cargo ships. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 43(16), 287–305. https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2020.1776362

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