Evidence of Spiritual Capital in the Schooling of Second-Generation Ghanaians in Amsterdam

  • Justice Richard Kwabena Owusu Kyei Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
  • Rafal Smoczynski Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Mary Boatemaa Setrana Centre for Migration Studies, University of Ghana


This study investigates how spiritual capital accrued from religiosity influences the
educational mobility of second-generation migrants in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
We propose that inherently, religiosity possesses resources that have consequences for
the socio-economic and cultural life of the adherents. The study adopts ethnographic
research methods including in-depth interviews, participant observation and informal
interviews in the religious field of African Initiated Christian Churches (AICCs) in
Amsterdam. Fifty second-generation migrants participated in the research out of
which thirty-five were women and fifteen were men. Nine representatives of AICCs
were interviewed. All the research participants were purposively selected. The study
found that although educational attainment is not a driving force for the creation of
AICCs, religiosity has consequential effects on the schooling of second-generation
Ghanaians. The study also found that spiritual capital accumulated through prayers,
reading of Holy Scriptures, participation in religious services and church commitment
may facilitate or deter progress in the schooling of second-generation Ghanaians. The
paper concludes that religiosity and schooling are not incompatible; rather, they are
complementary in the integration of second-generation migrants in the Dutch society.