Learn about using interviews for qualitative research projects from two MA students who used this method in the field. Rebecca Davis will present “Building Bridges in Selma Alabama: The opportunities and challenges of interracial contact”. Crystal Corman will present “Leadership Spaces and Potential for Women within Islam in Malaysia: Professional women’s experiences and perceptions.” This forum is sponsored by CTRL’s Research Support Group. It highlights AU student research and allows students to share their learning experiences with selected research methods.

The forum is Thursday, Feb. 2 in SIS room 300. The event runs noon-1:30pm and lunch will be served. RSVPs are appreciated: ssrl@american.edu.

About our speakers:

Rebecca Davis, MA, IPCR

Building Bridges in Selma Alabama: The opportunities and challenges of interracial contact

Racial conflict continues to challenge communities across the United States. This study seeks to identify processes by which individuals build relationships across racial divides and to understand how these relationships influence attitudes and behaviors. A qualitative case study of Selma, Alabama was used, in part, because of the stark separation of the races that continues in the city. With relationships at the center of this study, ten young adults living in Selma were interviewed about the interracial relationships in their lives. This study was guided by a juxtaposition of contact theory, social network theory, and systems theory which allowed for a focus on interpersonal interaction and the intersection between micro-level interactions and macro-level social structure. Conclusions from this study highlight the dynamic nature of race relations in Selma. The power of interracial social trust in a community that has been plagued by interracial mistrust illuminate possibilities for social change at both the individual and community-wide levels.

Crystal Corman, MA, IPCR

Leadership Spaces and Potential for Women within Islam in Malaysia: Professional women’s experiences and perceptions

Career opportunities at Islamic institutions in Malaysia are dominated by men, however education trends show that more women than men are pursuing formal degrees in Islamic Studies and Shari’ah Law. To understand the challenges and potentials for women to professionally participate in these institutions, this study examines the experiences and perspectives of Muslim women who are currently included in Islam’s decision-making and leadership in Malaysia, as well as their perceptions regarding a future increase in women’s participation in such roles. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty women including professors of Islamic Revealed Knowledge or Shari’ah law, Shari’ah lawyers and officers, activists in Islamic NGOs working on women’s issues, and members of the Islamic political party (PAS). Their responses include technicalities of working with men, benefit of women working on women’s issues, the challenge of balancing career and family commitments and the need to boost women’s self-confidence and public speaking skills.

Visit our website for more information. 

Advertisements