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Challenges in researching Muslim prisoners

Quraishi, MM 2015, 'Challenges in researching Muslim prisoners' , in: Muslims in US Prisons: People, Policy, Practice , Lynne Reinner, Boulder.

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A large number of issues in this chapter are mainly methodological. These issues include the ethics of doing research, building rapport and trust, the not-so-neat packaging of insider/outsider components in research, identification of prisoners as Muslims, the patterns of conversion, protections of research data, and the post 9/11 environment. This chapter is divided into two sections. The first part of the chapter provides a brief statistical overview of the Muslim prisoner population in England and Wales which is deemed vital for academic evaluation of this area. It is, arguably, the release and presentation of these statistics which has provided a prompt for the media, Government and academia alike. The statistical trends and issues of classification may also provide an interesting comparative lens for studies outside of the UK. The first section of the chapter also provides insight into the populist and academic commentary on the meaning and consequences of a rising Muslim prison population in the U.K. Studies have shown that prison Imams (religious leaders) do not facilitate radicalization in prison, and in fact, Imams play a role in countering extremism (Beckford, Joly & Khosrokhavar, 2005; Marranci, 2008; Spalek and El-Hassan, 2007). The second part of the chapter outlines the key methodological challenges facing qualitative prison research on Muslim populations, such as negotiating a role in a prison setting, maintaining confidentiality, and experiencing negative attitudes. The above challenges come from personal experiences conducting research on prisoners who are Muslim.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Ammar, NH
Schools: Schools > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences
Publisher: Lynne Reinner
ISBN: 9781626371682
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: MM Quraishi
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2015 10:15
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2015 10:15

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