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Mixed-Methods Research, Anti-Muslim Racism and Muslim Communities in Ireland

Case
By: James Carr Published: 2018 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases in Sociology
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Abstract

Islamophobia, or anti-Muslim racism, rose to prominence with the publication of the Runnymede Trust (1997) report: “Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All.” Since then, a range of studies have been undertaken on this phenomenon. Yet, despite the attention being paid to anti-Muslim racism internationally, up until the research discussed below, the experiences of Muslim communities vis-a-vis this phenomenon in Ireland were largely ignored. The research focused upon here commenced in 2010 in a context wherein Muslim communities were increasingly the focus of international racializing discourses—discourses which persist today. Furthermore, at the same time as this study started and at a national level, the infrastructure of the Irish equality mechanisms and monitoring bodies were being decimated as a result of so-called austerity measures. With that, whatever, albeit limited, insights that were available of lived anti-Muslim racism in Ireland were lost. In this context, the author set out to highlight the realities of anti-Muslim racism in Ireland utilizing differing research methods. However, before this could happen, the author, a non-Muslim White, Irish, formerly Catholic male, would have to gain access to Muslim communities in Ireland to work with them. In what follows, I will discuss how I gained this access and the methods used to address the questions discussed above. From here, I will spend some time discussing some of the less documented research issues that I feel are incredibly important in the context of researching racism with Muslim communities: including those relating to ethics, positionality, and reflexivity.

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