Islam, Ethnography and Politics: Methodological Issues in Researching amongst West Yorkshire Pakistanis in 2005

Bolognani, Marta (2007) Islam, Ethnography and Politics: Methodological Issues in Researching amongst West Yorkshire Pakistanis in 2005. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 10 (4). pp. 279-293. ISSN 1364-5579

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Abstract

Studies on Muslim communities in Britain have flourished in the 1990s and early 2000 mainly in the form of ethno-anthropological accounts. In what is a critical moment for multicultural relations in Britain after September 11th and July 2005 bombings in London, however, social researchers are allegedly struggling in gaining access. The article explores this research scenario through reflection on doctoral fieldwork in the Pakistani community of Bradford, Northern England. Here, it will be argued that access can still be gained through traditional ethnographic methods, classic ‘research bargaining’ and what will be called ‘reciprocal exposure’, or more simply the researcher’s will to be questioned by the potential respondents. In the conclusion it will be argued first, that the reliability of the research is improved through the personal rapport between researcher and respondents. Secondly, participant observation seems to offer an alternative to formal interviews. Respondents in fact tend to be influenced by the burden they feel is imposed onto them as representative of Islam. In the current public value discourses faith is never disenfranchised from political pressures and researchers and funding bodies should acknowledge it to enhance the quality of their data.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Marta Bolognani
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2012 11:51
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2012 08:23
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/38882
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