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Experiences in Researching Conflict and ViolenceFieldwork Interrupted$
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Althea-Maria Rivas and Brendan Ciarán Browne

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447337683

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447337683.001.0001

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Insider-outsider reflections on terrorism research in the coastal region of Kenya

Insider-outsider reflections on terrorism research in the coastal region of Kenya

(p.119) 6 Insider-outsider reflections on terrorism research in the coastal region of Kenya
Experiences in Researching Conflict and Violence

Fathima Azmiya Badurdeen

Policy Press

This chapter explores the dilemmas encountered due to researcher identity and positionality by drawing upon reflections on fieldwork conducted in Kenya on the radicalization and recruitment of youth for the al-Shabaab terrorist organization. Probing into an array of debates centred on the researcher’s religious identity and the research process, the chapter aims to shed light on the question of how the religious identity or position as a Muslim affected the research process and analysis as well as the researcher’s experiences and understanding of herself. In doing so, the chapter discusses the complexity of locating one’s positions either as an insider or an outsider, or even being in-between, when doing intra-group research and unpacks the linkage between religion, identity and positionality in research related to violent radicalization particularly in terrorism research.

Keywords:   positionality, terrorism, religion, gender, radicalization, identity, al-Shabaab, Kenya

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