A1 Journal article (refereed)
Regimes of patriarchy and faith : reflections on challenges in interviewing women and religious minorities in Pakistan (2023)

Shah, W. A., & Lashari, A. (2023). Regimes of patriarchy and faith : reflections on challenges in interviewing women and religious minorities in Pakistan. Qualitative Research Journal, 23(5), 471-484. https://doi.org/10.1108/QRJ-02-2023-0018

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsShah, Waqar Ali; Lashari, Asadullah

Journal or seriesQualitative Research Journal



Publication year2023

Publication date09/05/2023


Issue number5

Pages range 471-484


Publication countryAustralia

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/87037


This paper discusses the challenges that two doctoral researchers faced while researching religious minorities and women in a culturally sensitive society such as Pakistan. Their shared interest in sensitive topics related to gender and minorities in Pakistan led both researchers to collaborate in this study to provide a better understanding of issues in qualitative research in the same research context. They discuss the challenges of interviewing participants within the educational context. They also suggest some ways to overcome such challenges.

Based on Foucualt's writings on regimes of truth, discourse and systems of exclusion, the authors in this study analyze how patriarchal and faith-based regimes of truth constrain some discourses that affect participants’ willingness and insights to reflect on the issues freely.

While reflecting on their experiences in data collection, authors report that qualitative researchers struggle to access participants to investigate issues related to gender subjectivities and minority faiths in educational contexts in developing societies like Pakistan. Researchers face a variety of problems, from their own positionality to participants’ access to their responses. The reason for this is patriarchal and religious regimes and also their intersecting relations that restrict participants’ ability to reflect on their issues. Minorities in Pakistan are often prevented from expressing their views freely by blasphemy fears. The discourses of gender are also sensitive. Therefore, the study suggests that in societies such as Pakistan, where religion and gender are emotive terms, the problem can be handled by counter-discourses that challenge truth regimes by conceiving research as a transformative practice. Moreover, such societies require a policy for protecting researchers and participants in the interest of knowledge production and dissemination.

This study is originally based on the primary data used in two doctoral studies.

Keywordsmethodologyqualitative researchinterview studychallengesresearch ethicsresearch subjectsreligious minoritiesgenderwomenpatriarchyreligious discriminationdiscourse

Free keywordsreligious minority; gendered identities; regimes of truth; challenges

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-14-06 at 23:06