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'Being there' the experience of shadowing a British Muslim hospital chaplain

Gilliat-Ray, Sophie ORCID: 2011. 'Being there' the experience of shadowing a British Muslim hospital chaplain. Qualitative Research 11 (5) , pp. 469-486. 10.1177/1468794111413223

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This article critically evaluates ‘shadowing’ as a qualitative research method. Sometimes described as the relatively straightforward opportunity to observe and record the actions and behaviours of a single individual during the course of their everyday working activities (McDonald, 2005), this article demonstrates that shadowing is often a highly disruptive and to some extent performative undertaking, both for the researched and for the researcher. Yet, it is precisely the disruptive potential of shadowing that makes it a valuable data collection method, offering the opportunity to gain significant insights that would be largely unobtainable via any other method. Following a brief discussion of shadowing as a research tool and an introduction to the ‘Muslim Chaplaincy Project’, the remainder of the article describes the experience of shadowing an individual Muslim hospital chaplain in detail. What becomes apparent is that shadowing has the potential to blur into other qualitative data collection methods (e.g. interviewing), especially when those we are shadowing have developed roles that engage them in various discursive communities, and a range of cooperative networks. Shadowing such individuals complicates our understanding of how this method operates in practice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: Britain; chaplain; ethnography; hospital; Muslim; observation; shadowing
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 1468-7941
Funders: AHRC, ESRC
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 10:03

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