Food, faith and community: social well-being of Ghanaian migrants in the Netherlands

Sanne Siete Visser, Ajay Bailey, Louise Meijering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores how Ghanaian migrants in the Netherlands enhance their gendered social well-being. We provide an in-depth view of gender-specific places and relations that shape the social well-being of migrants, focusing on place-based lived experiences, by conducting in-depth interviews and observations. Our results demonstrate that social well-being is enhanced by social networks, wherein the participants recreate feelings of self-esteem, belonging and recognition. Furthermore, the special meaning of food and faith also contributes to the social well-being of the participants. Food and faith serve as commemorations of traditions in their home country and alleviate the transition to new traditions in the host country. We also found that specific places, such as shops and churches, contribute to the social well-being of participants in the study. Men and women in our study use different strategies to construct their well-being, and they interpret places and social relations differently, but they all showed to be active agents in enhancing their social well-being. Our female participants in particular look for opportunities in the host country to independently enhance their social well-being, for instance through establishing their own small businesses and social groups. Through its focus on the social well-being of migrants, the study contributes to increase understanding between different cultural groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-625
Number of pages18
JournalGender, Place and Culture
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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