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

M Bolognani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)

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.
Translated title of the contributionIslam, Ethnography and Politics: Methodological Issues in Researching amongst West Yorkshire Pakistanis in 2005
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279 - 293
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Volume10 (4)
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Structured keywords

  • SPAIS Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship

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