Reflections on Qualitative Research with Muslim Families


  • Jonathan Scourfield Cardiff University
  • Asma Khan Cardiff University Manchester University
  • Sophie Gilliat-Ray Cardiff School of History, Archaeology and Religion
  • Sameh Oh Cardiff University South Wales Islamic Education Trust and Welfare Centre



children, family, Islam, Muslims, religious nurture


Detailed accounts of fieldwork relationships can be helpful reading for those embarking on research with a similar population. In this spirit, the article presents reflections on the process of conducting qualitative research with 60 Muslim families. The main research aim was to describe and explain how children (aged 12 and under) are brought up to be Muslims. Fairly detailed reflections are presented about four main aspects of the research process: research team members’ identities and the implications of these, the recruitment of families to take part in the research, the conduct of fieldwork (interviews and observation) and the use of child-friendly techniques, such as interviews with young children, oral diaries and photo elicitation.


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Author Biographies

Jonathan Scourfield, Cardiff University

Jonathan Scourfield is a Professor at Cardiff School of Social Sciences.

Asma Khan, Cardiff University Manchester University

Asma Khan previously a researcher at Cardiff University, is now studying towards an MSc in Social Change at Manchester University and is Director of Total Transcriptions a company providing freelance qualitative research services.

Sophie Gilliat-Ray, Cardiff School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Sophie Gilliat-Ray is a Reader in Religious Studies at Cardiff School of History, Archaeology and Religion.

Sameh Oh, Cardiff University South Wales Islamic Education Trust and Welfare Centre

Sameh Otri was previously a researcher at Cardiff University and is now the Operational Manager of South Wales Islamic Education Trust, Manager of Darulisra Muslim Educational and Welfare Centre and the Muslim Chaplain of Cardiff University.


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How to Cite

Scourfield, J., Khan, A., Gilliat-Ray, S., & Oh, S. (2012). Reflections on Qualitative Research with Muslim Families. Fieldwork in Religion, 7(1), 48–69.