Exploring Multiple Religious Identities through Mixed Qualitative Methods


  • Katherine King Bournemouth University
  • Peter J. Hemming Cardiff University




identity, mixed methods, qualitative methods, religion, youth


This article offers a reflexive account of the process of researching religious identity with young people, and considers how combining methods may enable young people to explore their own identities in different ways. Drawing upon three participant case studies it explores the public–private spectrum produced as part of discussion groups, semi-structured interviews and an innovative online e-Journal research activity. As participants moved through each stage of the research process, the way in which they represented their religious identities shifted as they encountered differing social environments, became more practised at telling their own lives, or had evolved their own perspectives over time. Employing mixed methods contributes a more nuanced understanding of the role of religion in young people’s lives yet also raises important ethical implications surrounding participant confidentiality in research.


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Author Biographies

Katherine King, Bournemouth University

Katherine King is a Lecturer in Leisure Studies in the School of Tourism at Bournemouth University. Her research interests include youth identities and lifestyles, the geographies of sport and leisure, and innovative qualitative methods.

Peter J. Hemming, Cardiff University

Dr Peter J. Hemming is Lecturer in Sociology of Education at Cardiff University. His research interests include religion and spirituality, education spaces, childhood and youth, emotions, identity, citizenship, community and mixed-method approaches. He is also a former primary school teacher.


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How to Cite

King, K., & Hemming, P. (2012). Exploring Multiple Religious Identities through Mixed Qualitative Methods. Fieldwork in Religion, 7(1), 29–47. https://doi.org/10.1558/firn.v7i1.29