Methodological challenges and concerns of using interview method to conduct socio-culturally sensitive research

M Mahruf C Shohel, Man Jia, Rubaiyat Jahan, Goutam Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Researching Muslim women in the west could be challenging for some researchers with different socio-cultural or religious background. This includes sensitivity associated with religious identity, feminist view and socio-cultural aspects of the research subjects. This article used interview method, a frequently used tool for collecting data in the qualitative research paradigm by applied social scientists. The success of the interview method largely depends on the interviewees and their understanding of the research contexts. This article looks into the authors' understanding of using traditional interview method in a different cultural setting and tries to find out the challenges of using the method with Muslim women going for higher education. The interview process poses some distinct challenges to the interviewing process and needs to be addressed for a rigorous research. This article also reflects on a number of issues related to the interview process, working with the equipment (tape-recorder), flexibility of proposed schedule, and the way of posing research questions for in-depth inquiry. More importantly, it draws on both advantages and disadvantages of interview method for exploring this sensitive issue. The process of data analysis is also summarised along with the consideration of reflexivity and trustworthiness of the generated data. This article also highlights the issues related to gaining access to the participants, sampling, and ethical consideration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-115
Number of pages16
JournalBangladesh Journal of Educational Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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