Dr. Sarah Shah

MiCDI Data Team

Sarah Shah (they/them) received a doctoral degree in 2019 from The University of Toronto in Sociology. Shah’s research includes analyses of religion as it pertains to gender attitudes, family organization, mental health outcomes, and group identity. Their research unpacks how religion dialectically structures and is structured by gender and family relations, immigration and racialization processes, and mental health. In their current project on Pakistani Canadian Muslim families, Shah looks at Muslim religious reflexivities, or the critical ways in which diasporic Muslims navigate and negotiate their religious identities and practices.

At the IIS, Shah is working with a team of leading researchers on the Muslims in Canada Data Initiative. This Initiative aims to address the dire lack of data on Canadian Muslims and their sociodemographic characteristics, socioeconomic outcomes, and social experiences in everyday life. Along with a robust panel of international scholars, the Initiative is supported by collaborations and partnerships with several Canadian Muslim community organizations.


Recent Publications:


Shah, Sarah. Forthcoming. “Beyond Immigrant Generation: Religious Approach, Perceptions of Discrimination, and the Stress Process Model.” In Handbook on Society and Mental Health, edited by Marta Elliott. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Shah, Sarah, and Maryam Khan. Forthcoming. “The Search for Ethics in Research: Learning from Non-binary, Queer, and Trans Muslims.” In Reading Sociology: Unsettling a Settler Colonial Project & Re/writing Sociological Narratives, edited by Johanne Jean-Pierre et al. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Shah, Sarah, and Maryam Khan. Forthcoming. “The Impact of Islamophobia on Sexually and Gender Diverse Muslims in Canada.” In Systemic Islamophobia, edited by Anver Emon. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Shah, Sarah. 2022. Voices that Matter: An Intersectional Analysis of Canadian Muslim Women. Canadian Council of Muslim Women.

Shah, Sarah, Maryam Khan, and Sara Abdel-Latif. 2021. “Decolonizing Muslim Same-Sex Relations: Reframing Queerness as Gender Flexibility to Build Positive Relationships in Muslim Communities.” In Positive Muslim Psychology, edited by Nausheen Pasha. New York: Springer Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-72606-5_12

Shah, Sarah. 2021. “Black and white or shades of grey: Religious approaches and Muslim marital conflict.” Social Compass. https://doi.org/10.1177/00377686211020567


Shah, Sarah, and Aleena Atif. 2020. Canadian Muslim Health Exceptionalism. IIS Occasional Paper Series 1(3). https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/102879

Shah, Sarah. 2019. Canadian Muslims: Demographics, Discrimination, Religiosity, and Voting. IIS Occasional Paper Series 1(1). https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/96775

Salem, Rania, and Sarah Shah*. 2019. “Economic Rationales for Kin Marriage: Assessing the Evidence Using Egyptian Panel Data.” Demographic Research 41(19):545-578. https://doi.org/10.4054/DemRes.2019.41.19

*Equal authorship

Shah, Sarah. 2018. “Does Religion Buffer the Effects of Discrimination on Distress for Religious Minorities? The Case of Arab Americans.” Society and Mental Health 9(2):171-191. https://doi.org/10.1177/2156869318799145

Shah, Sarah, Gabriel Acevedo, and Andrea Ruiz. 2017. “Contextualizing Events in Imagined Communities: Pre- and Post-September 11th Egyptian Attitudes Toward Non-Arabs and Jews.” Sociology of Islam 5(4):249-277. https://doi.org/10.1163/22131418-00504002


Shah, Sarah, John P. Bartkowski, and Xiaohe Xu. 2016. “Gendered God Imagery and Attitudes Towards Mothers’ Labor Force Participation: Examining the Transposable Character of Religious Schemas.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 55(3):540-557. https://doi.org/10.1111/jssr.12279

Acevedo, Gabriel, and Sarah Shah. 2015. “Sectarian Affiliation and Gender Traditionalism: A Sociological Study of Sunni and Shi’a Muslims in Four Predominantly Muslim Countries.” Sociology of Islam 3(1-2):1-29. https://doi.org/10.1163/22131418-00301001


Bartkowski, John P. and Sarah Shah. 2014. “Religion and Gender Inequality.” In Religion and Inequality in America: Research and Theory on Religion's Role in Stratification, edited by Lisa A. Keister and Darren E. Sherkat. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Dr. Sarah Shah