In this paper I discuss the difficulties I faced in getting access to respondents in a qualitative study on the opinions of Muslim religious leaders on domestic violence experienced by Muslim married women. This in turn highlighted the need for me to reflect carefully on my own assumptions about my insider status and take into account how prospective participants identify me as a researcher. For the study on which I am reflecting, I chose an interpretive research paradigm which falls under the umbrella of qualitative research. This research paradigm was necessary as it places emphasis on context and nuanced meanings and was intended to allow me to interrogate the way religious leaders dealt with domestic violence and the rationale behind their approaches. Using this approach allowed me to explore some of the structural constraints that came to the fore via anecdotal research. This paper presents the challenges I faced and how I looked to overcome them and includes a detailed discussion of why the qualitative research approach was the most appropriate for this study, how I selected the participants, and how I experienced the interview process. Importantly, it speaks to reflexivity. In May of 2017, I set out to conduct in-depth semi-structured interviews within the Gauteng region using purposive and snowball sampling. Trying to access participants proved to be difficult and it became clear that a mistrust exists between the academy and some theological organizations. Insider/outsider phenomena, which were envisaged at the proposal stage, proved to be important.
insider/outsider research, sampling, reflexivity
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Recommended APA Citation
Suleman, M. (2023). On the Outside Looking In: Difficulties in Obtaining the Opinions of Muslim Religious Leaders’ Views on Domestic Violence Experienced by Married Muslim Women. The Qualitative Report, 28(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2023.5332