Exploring Survey Data for Historical and Anthropological Research: Muslim-Christian relations in south-west Nigeria

Insa Nolte, Rebecca Jones, Khadijeh Taiyari, Giovanni Occhiali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
158 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This research note argues that quantitative survey data on Africa, welcomed
by most researchers in public health, economics, and political science,
can make an important contribution to the work of historians and
anthropologists, especially if it is open to critical analysis. The research
note describes the 2012–13 ‘Knowing Each Other’ survey on religion
among the Yoruba of south-west Nigeria, which provides strong evidence
for a slow shift from Islam to Christianity in the area since 1963, and
reflects on the methods and challenges of carrying out the survey and the
resulting biases within it. In doing so, the research note draws out lessons
on how to use surveys for historical and anthropological research. It also
shows how using surveys contributes to understanding the complex and
unexplored dynamics of Muslim–Christian relations in Nigeria from the
perspectives of locality, age, and gender.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-561
JournalAfrican Affairs
Volume115
Issue number460
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2016

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