Gaining Research Access into the Lives of Muslim Girls: Researchers Negotiating Muslimness, Modesty, Inshallah, and Haram

Mar. 31, 2010

Source: International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Volume 23, Issue 2, (March 2010) , pages 165 – 180.

This article explores the process of gaining research access into the lives of Muslim girls in the southwest USA.

The authors discuss four emerging 'entry markers' that challenged the process of gaining and sustaining access over a period of 14 months. These included being Muslim enough, being modest enough, inshallah (Allah or God willing), and haram (forbidden).

Additionally, the authors reflect on
(1) how one researcher identified the four 'entry markers';

(2) how this researcher negotiated these markers by using her cultural and linguistic literacies and her fluid insiderness/outsiderness; and

(3) how building and maintaining relationships with key members of the local Muslim community was central to this study and was directly reliant on negotiating the positions of difference on the embodiments of a specific and prevailing body discourse - the hijab discourse.
This negotiation was only possible by the researchers' practice and maintenance of critical reflexivity throughout the study.

Updated: Jul. 13, 2010