Volume 13, No. 1, Art. 21 – January 2012

The Globalization of Qualitative Research: Challenging Anglo-American Domination and Local Hegemonic Discourse

Ping-Chun Hsiung

Abstract: Over the past decades, scholarly interest has led to publications on the practices and development of qualitative research (QR) in countries outside of the Anglo-American core. Much of the writing is descriptive, providing an overview of the QR path and development in a particular country. Recently, qualitative researchers in the periphery have begun to articulate a collective professional identity in relation to the Anglo-American core by questioning both the dominance of the Anglo-American core and the current divide between QR in the core and the periphery. To date, insufficient effort has been made to develop this collective professional identity in order to overcome Anglo-American domination in the periphery and to indigenize QR. In this article, I propose a globally-informed, locally-situated analytical framework as a means of developing a globalized QR (GQR). I argue that qualitative scholars in the periphery must simultaneously confront Anglo-American domination and local hegemonic discourses. I discuss what scholars in the core and periphery can do to lead to a shift in the current division of labor that sees scholarship in the core producing theory and methods while those in the periphery consume and reproduce it. More attention needs to be paid to the indigenization of QR in the periphery.

Key words: globalization of qualitative research; indigenization; qualitative research in the periphery

Table of Contents

1. Qualitative Research in the Periphery

2. The Core-Periphery Divide and the Indigenization of Qualitative Research

3. Key Issues for the Further Advancement of GQR







In the US and the UK, qualitative research (QR) has developed over the past century through various stages and with different emphases in social science disciplines (DENZIN & LINCOLN, 2005; FIELDING, 2005; REINHARZ & CONRAD, 1988; STRONG, 1988). Although differences exist in how QR is practiced within and between these countries, it is possible to identify critical methodological practices and epistemological foundations that characterize QR stemming from the "Anglo-American core." The fields of women's studies and gender studies, for example, contribute insights into intersectionality of class, race/ethnic, and gender. As early as the 1900s, "Anglo-American" QR has been introduced outside the core, to what scholars have termed "peripheral" countries. It has generally been done by "returnees" who studied QR in the core and with a reliance on direct translations of Anglo-American QR textbooks and classics. In combination with the predominance of Anglo-American academic journals about QR, this has contributed to the global dominance of QR from the Anglo-American core and to an ongoing core-periphery divide. [1]

Also contributing to this divide has been the relative isolation of peripheral scholars from each other. Over the past two decades, the majority of scholars working in the peripheral countries India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Southern and Eastern Africa, Spain, and South Korea have focused on country-specific issues (BRUNI & GOBO, 2005; CORRADI, 1988; DZVIMBO, 1994; KATO, 1988; KIM & CHO, 2005; KONECKI, KACPERCZYK & MARCINIAK, 2005; MAST, 1988; OOMMEN, 1988; CISNEROS PUEBLA, 2000; SCHUBOTZ, 2005; SUZUKI, 2000; VALLES & BAER, 2005; WEIL, 2005; WYKA, 1988). As it was often written by scholars in the periphery at the request of journal editors from the Anglo-American core, much of this early scholarship was predominantly descriptive, providing an overview for an Anglo-American audience of the path and development of QR in a particular country. By writing about specific countries for an Anglo-American audience, this early scholarship did little to bring peripheral scholars together. [2]

Recently, however, qualitative researchers in the periphery have begun to articulate a collective professional identity in relation to the Anglo-American core. These scholars do more than simply describe how Anglo-American methods and theory are introduced to new locations. Instead, they have begun to question both the dominance of the Anglo-American core and the current divide between QR in the core and in the periphery (ALASUUTARI, 2004; MRUCK, CISNEROS PUEBLA & FAUX, 2005; CISNEROS PUEBLA, DOMINGUEZ FIGAREDO, FAUX, KOLBL & PACKER, 2006 ). This process is still nascent; such ‘globalized qualitative research' faces challenges both from its relationship with the Anglo-American core and from its position within its local social, institutional, and political context. [3]

To date, insufficient effort has been made to develop this collective professional identity in order to overcome Anglo-American domination in the periphery and to indigenize QR. Although ALASUUTARI's (2004) spatial metaphor betters captures the genealogy of QR at global level than DENZIN and LINCOLN's (2000) linear, temporal one, his work does not move us beyond a critique of Anglo-American domination1). Still unclear is how we can achieve a globalized QR where qualitative scholars in the periphery do more than simply retrieve, modify, and return research tools from a "toolbox of approaches and practices" presumably created by the core (ALASUUTARI, 2004). [4]

In this article, I propose a globally-informed, locally-situated analytical framework as a means of developing a globalized QR. Such a framework can reveal the common themes and shared struggles in the periphery that have been overlooked in early country-based research and can shift the core-periphery divide. I suggest that the "globalization of qualitative research" (GQR) is emerging as a subfield where qualitative researchers in the periphery have begun challenging the domination of the Anglo-American core. However, I will argue that for GQR to lead to a shift in the current division of labor that sees scholarship in the core producing theory and methods while those in the periphery consume and reproduce it, more attention needs to be paid to the indigenization of QR in the periphery. Specifically, I will demonstrate that in addition to challenging Anglo-American domination, GQR must do more to challenge local, hegemonic discourses that are hindering the indigenization of QR in the periphery. By doing so, qualitative scholars in the core and periphery can: explore what contributions QR in the periphery could make in a globalized world of QR; what qualitative scholars in the core could do to shift their roles from producer to consumer; and whether there is one or multiple "toolboxes" of QR in a globalized world of QR. [5]

To do this, I draw on the social sciences with an emphasis on sociology, I first examine the development and practices of QR in the periphery over the past two decades, up to the most recent critical turn (Section 1). I then examine the core-periphery divide and the indigenization of QR in the periphery (Section 2). In this section I discuss in more detail the critiques against QR from the core, and demonstrate how QR is being used as an alternative means of knowledge production to overcome local hegemonic forces. In the concluding section, I delineate key issues essential to the advancement of GQR and discuss future prospects toward a globalized world of QR. Based on transformative changes that have already taken place in the periphery resulting from indigenization, I suggest that the unique historical, cultural, and political traditions of peripheral countries could redefine and/or enrich QR in a globalized world (Section 3). [6]

1. Qualitative Research in the Periphery

In 1988, curiosity about QR in the periphery and awareness of the Euro-American "ethnocentric" tendency prompted the editors at Qualitative Sociology to publish a special issue about the development and practices of QR outside the core. Qualitative sociologists outside the core were invited to submit manuscripts about qualitative sociology in their country (REINHARZ & CONRAD, 1988). This issue and subsequent publications of similar nature focused on two main themes: the similarities and differences in QR development in periphery countries, and the role/s played by the Anglo-American core in QR development. As noted earlier, much of this early country-specific scholarship primarily documented major publications and events that signified the emergence and development of QR. Such writing was aimed for an Anglo-American audience that has limited exposure to the subject. [7]

Although this scholarship did little to bridge the divide between the core and periphery2) or to bring qualitative researchers from peripheral countries together, it did provide a starting point for local researchers in the periphery to assess the path and development of QR in their respective countries. Research and institutional capacity building in peripheral countries were launched with initiatives such as symposiums, roundtables, and workshops (KIM & CHO, 2005; MERCADO-MARTÍNEZ, 2002; CISNEROS PUEBLA, 2000; SUZUKI, 2000; WEIL, 2005). These efforts were particularly common in fields where QR first originated. For example, in Japan, where QR got its start in the field of psychology, symposiums, roundtables, and workshops were first held in the early 1990s to discuss methodological and epistemological issues pertinent to conducting QR (SUZUKI, 2000). In South Korea, QR was formally introduced within education studies in 1995 at a landmark conference entitled "Inquiry into Research Methods on Curriculum and Instruction" (KIM & CHO, 2005). This was followed in 1997 by the establishment of a professional association and the organizing of workshops and annual conferences (KIM & CHO, 2005). In many peripheral countries, these kinds of professional endeavors were typically followed by the consolidation of intellectual networks into new research centers at universities, the formation of professional associations, the launching of specialized journals dedicated exclusively to disseminating the findings of QR, and the organizing of topic-specific workshops and annual conferences. These processes contributed to the formation of a professional identity for qualitative researchers within each country by creating shared intellectual spaces. QR progressed from a field led by several individual scholars or a small group of scholars to clusters of scholars who identified themselves and were recognized as qualitative researchers. [8]

In most cases, QR was introduced into countries outside the Anglo-American core by scholars native to those countries (often by international student returnees). In the process of bringing QR to peripheral countries, English textbooks and scholarly exemplars were translated verbatim from the Anglo-American core into local languages. In sheer volume, QR methods, theories, and texts developed for an Anglo-American context came to dominate publication markets of the periphery (ALASUUTARI, 2004; BRUNI & GOBO, 2005; HSIUNG & QI, 2009; KATO, 1988; KIM & CHO, 2005). Substantively, the use of these Anglo-American-centric texts in curriculum and research has helped establish the dominance of Anglo-American QR as theories, analytical concepts and/or specific issues relevant to the core continue to be automatically adopted by the periphery. This is particularly evident, as KATO (1988) noted, in cases where students have had to memorize the names and ideas of Western scholars without examining their relevance to local societies. Western theories or models are often adapted in theses or articles with no consideration of their applicability to local realities. This has contributed to the ongoing divide between QR in the core and periphery. [9]

A very recent development in QR in the periphery, which stands in contrast to the country-specific tendency, is the articulation of a collective notion of QR in the periphery by scholars critical of the core-periphery divide. By forging a collective identity as peripheral scholars in relation to the Anglo-American core, these scholars have begun to challenge the domination of Anglo-American perspectives in English-language QR literature. Of note has been the publication of FQS, which was designed to publicize "what is happening in the non-Anglo-Saxon 'peripheries' of our globalized qualitative research world" (CISNEROS PUEBLA et al., 2006, p.11). This online journal has accumulated a body of scholarly work about international QR that stands in stark contrast to the voluminous literature on QR that focuses its content primarily on the Anglo-American core (MRUCK et al., 2005). Critically, FQS presents QR development in regions or countries that share a common language but are outside the Anglo-American core, thus reinforcing a collective intellectual identity among the peripheral countries. This kind of collective identity not only marks a departure from country-based research; it also fosters publications that problematize the core-periphery divide and critically examine its implications. GQR has since emerged as a subfield where scholars in the periphery have begun to critically assess the center and identify its implicitly-assumed conceptual positions and unexamined blind spots, problems which are particularly evident in writing about QR practices and genealogical stages that ignores "other traditions," as I discuss next. [10]

2. The Core-Periphery Divide and the Indigenization of Qualitative Research

As ATKINSON, MRUCK, and others noted the QR literature represented in the Sage series perpetuates the stereotype that QR scholarship is mainly produced by the privileged "male, white, Anglo-Saxon, and more concretely North-American" (ATKINSON, 2005; MRUCK et al., 2005, p.6 ). Since scholarly work outside of the core has been largely left out, it is not coincidental that the seven stages of QR development identified by DENZIN and LINCOLN (2000) capture only the American genealogical path. Furthermore, as demonstrated by ALASUUTARI (2004), these stages, as mentioned above, are merely ideological constructs that assume a linear, unidirectional evolution from the Anglo-American core that fails to recognize the co-existence of various QR traditions and practices outside that core. This kind of temporal metaphor projects a temporal imagery distinctively different from an inclusive, spatial metaphor that is receptive to multiple QR developments worldwide and the influences flowing across the core-periphery divide and across diverse disciplines (ALASUUTARI, 2004). [11]

The perpetuation of the English-language, Anglo-American centered domination is further safeguarded by an implicit embedded regulatory mechanism, which became visible only when scholars from the periphery sought entry into the arena of international QR scholarship. Speaking from his own experience of being asked by the editor to replace Finish examples with American ones so that "the English language reader feel at ease with the presentation" (p.595), ALASUUTARI argued that for peripheral researchers to present their work, they needed to cater to the knowledge pool of their Anglo-American audience. In other words, they needed to refer to a body of knowledge that was already accepted and/or approved by the dominant approach. In QR, references to and examples of scholarly work in and/or about the periphery were considered "too exotic" for an audience in the core to appreciate (ALASUUTARI, 2004). As a result, qualitative scholars in the periphery "have to adopt the gaze of the people in the center, looking at [themselves] from afar or above" (p.599). Unless they could make an empirical case relevant to current research in the core, scholars from the periphery have been systematically excluded from making their work and positions heard on the stage of English-language, American-centered international QR scholarship (ALASUUTARI, 2004). [12]

Practicing QR in the periphery requires managing and transcending the core-periphery divide. Qualitative researchers, especially Anglo-American-trained returnees, need to retain and cultivate intellectual collaboration across the core-periphery divide through conferences, projects, and professional visits (MERCADO-MARTÍNEZ, 2002). Such collaboration facilitates local development because the core renders necessary intellectual legitimacy for qualitative researchers in the periphery to justify funding that is otherwise allotted to positivistic quantitative research. Nevertheless, such collaboration is not without problems (KIM & CHO, 2005). For example, standardized Anglo-American measurements and survey questionnaires are used even in qualitative projects sponsored by international funding agencies such as the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the World Bank, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) (COHEN 1988; DZVIMBO 1994). This, in addition to the ongoing distribution of translated materials in peripheral countries points to the importance of transcending the limits of a transplanted QR. [13]

To avoid "laminating Korean schooling with foreign research concepts or topics" (KIM & CHO, 2005, p.371) for example, qualitative researchers in South Korea are urged to "de-center" their intellectual consciousness and to strengthen their "decolonizing mind." To produce a locally-grounded counter discourse, peripheral scholars must not shy away from issues that have not been considered important or that have not been theorized about in the Anglo-American core. An essential aspect of core-periphery negotiation is therefore to address issues and topics that are relevant and meaningful to members of indigenous communities. For example, while neoliberalism and its consequences are critical issues for American qualitative researchers, military dictatorship and the resulting social wounds are critical for their counterparts in Chile. Qualitative researchers must focus on local realities and ethnographic findings even when no equivalents exist in the Anglo-American core (DE LA CUESTA BENJUMEA, 2006). [14]

Writings on QR in the periphery suggest that QR has been introduced, received, and practiced as an alternative to quantitative/statistics-based means of knowledge production in three distinct ways. First, scholars from countries undergoing drastic social changes or under oppressive political regimes often describe QR as a set of technical tools that allow locals to collect text-based, empirically-driven data to document local realities, social relations, and individual lives. For example, in Japan QR sociology is considered to extend on the tradition of the Minzukugaku School, in which scholars record texts and visual images of rites, folk beliefs, and the everyday life of rural or fishing communities in the midst of rapid urbanization (KATO, 1988). QR has been equated with biographic stories collected during Polish labor movements, during the Israeli state-making struggles, and after the upheavals led by dictatorships in Iberoamerican countries in the 1980s (BOLÍVAR & DOMINGO, 2006; KONECKI et al., 2005; WEIL, 2005). In India, QR researchers use interviews to record diverse ethnic communities and religious groups (OOMMEN, 1988). In Northern Ireland, QR is used to recover the voices of socially and politically marginalized Catholics (SCHUBOTZ, 2005). South Korean researchers use QR in the field of education as a technical device to encourage previously ignored, lived experiences in the classroom (KIM & CHO, 2005). [15]

By focusing on stories and events preserved through non-numerical data, such writing implicitly equates the collection of biographic stories or audio-visual records to QR practices that involve the collection of rich narratives, thick description, and visual images through in-depth interviews, ethnographic fieldwork, and art-based QR. It emphasizes how researchers use QR in this particular way to preserve subaltern voices and nurture dissenting positions of local communities. Employing QR from this particular angle nevertheless runs the risk of mistakenly assuming that QR is merely a set of techniques, because it tends to neglect issues pertinent to methodological principles and epistemological positions of QR (COHEN, 1988). [16]

The second group of researchers focuses on the maturation progress of QR practices over time in a particular peripheral country. In the case of Mexico, relationships between first-hand experience and personal narratives have been analyzed in the contexts of collective memory, ethical and aesthetic motivations, and the socialization process (CISNEROS PUEBLA, 2000). In the case of Poland, autobiography was first used a means to recover history and to reveal unofficial realities. It was years before autobiography became a subject of scholarly investigation, where researchers asked, for instance, how the Polish understood and conceptualized memories, how an individual carried out re-remembering, and how collective memories were constructed. These questions led researchers to identify unique cultural values and to analyze Polish attitudes toward personal documents. From this perspective, biographies, personal diaries, and letters are no longer merely sources of invaluable, non-numerical data that preserve realities; researchers focus on how individual articulation and interpretation of reality is shaped by their situated standpoint, cultural values, and historical circumstances (KONECKI et al., 2005). This type of inquiry encourages researchers to pursue aspects of QR beyond tools and techniques, as has been particularly evident in QR development in Latin America. BOLIVAR and DOMINGO (2006) found that researchers in Latin America had moved from early use of QR merely as a way to give voices to forgotten groups to a more nuanced use as an epistemological device to present "plural and multiethnic histories" (BOLÍVAR & DOMINGO, 2006, p.54). In this case, QR is no longer employed as a technical means of inquiry; it is used to facilitate an epistemological transformation that legitimizes multiple voices and diverse realities in knowledge production. [17]

The third group of writing illustrates how QR is used as a means of knowledge production that simultaneously challenges local hegemonic regimes and develops alternative, emancipatory paradigms. Methodologically, the inductive logic of QR encourages bottom-up, locally-grounded research as researchers raise new questions, call upon different types of data, and employ alternative perspectives in data analysis. Epistemologically, these researchers are compelled to focus on the politics of power and domination in knowledge production and reproduction. Pursuing QR in the periphery therefore promises the possibility of a new school of thought that questions the status quo, disturbs taken-for-granted norms and practices, reveals the workings and politics of domination, and explores opportunities and possibilities for transformation. [18]

For example, DROGUETT (2006) found that QR enables Chilean researchers to challenge conventional psychology, the main objective of which is to predict and control human behavior. Instead of justifying the existing social order, critical social psychologists can use QR to explore the possibility of social and individual freedom. By shifting the investigative focus from the individual to the social level, these researchers can question the epistemological foundations of conventional psychology, which is based on an objective, scientific interpretation of social reality. As an alternative paradigm premised on interpretative epistemology, QR allows them to conceptualize social reality as situated knowledge that is constructed and defined by individuals positioned in particular locations and within specific socio-historic contexts (DROGUETT, 2006). [19]

In Mexico, researchers have used QR to investigate subjective knowledge and personal experience. They have moved from producing "theories about poverty" to presenting "the poor's theories about themselves" (CISNEROS PUEBLA, 2000). By taking a critical perspective, these peripheral qualitative researchers can challenge theoretically, politically, or culturally based local hegemony. QR has made it possible for Mexican sociologists to search for empirically-based theoretical pluralism that moves beyond the Marxist orthodoxy of the 1970s and development and dependence theory of the 1980s. For example, the practices and politics of knowledge production that followed political revolutionary movements in Central and South America bear the distinctive imprints of those movements. The articulation of subjective, symbolic micro-processes, within a materialist framework that primarily focuses on macro-structural forces, raises methodological and epistemological challenges for QR in those regions (BOLÍVAR & DOMINGO, 2006). [20]

In South Korea, researchers have worked to disrupt the conventional relationship between the researcher and the researched. They have used QR to explore socially-based transformation, and qualitative researchers in the field of education have come to appreciate the unique critical lens offered by QR when they work closely with these practitioners/researched (KIM & CHO, 2005). Feminist researchers in New Zealand have embarked on a similar journey, employing QR to question the taken-for-granted norms and practices of the patriarchal establishment (MAST, 1988). This kind of endeavor is often considered a threat to the local establishment. In Saharan Africa the authoritarian state opposes QR for its emancipatory potential; QR can inspire an intellectual quest that could ultimately lead to the dismantling of social, cultural, and/or political hegemonies (DZVIMBO, 1994). [21]

3. Key Issues for the Further Advancement of GQR

The advancement of GQR faces several key issues. The first is to overcome systemic obstacles embedded in the global core-periphery divide that has hindered local advancement of QR. One problematic issue is the massive translation of English textbooks and handbooks about qualitative methods. As noted, much of this work entailed literal translations that perpetuate rather than transcend the core-peripheral divide. It should be noted that even an accurate, literal translation is insufficient to communicate cultural meanings, pre-existing knowledge, and the unspoken, taken-for-granted contexts assumed by the original author in the core. Thus, empirical examples used in English textbooks lose their pedagogical function when instructors and students in the periphery do not have access to this pre-existing intellectual or experiential knowledge. [22]

For example, the methodological and epistemological significance of classics such as Elliot LIEBOW's "Tally's Corner" (1967) and Carole B. STACK's "All Our Kin" (1974) is difficult to grasp for Chinese students, not only because most of them do not have an intimate understanding of racial politics in the US in the 1960s and 1970s, but because ethnic policies and ethnic/racial relationships in China have been very different from the US3). Therefore, pedagogically, when translated classics from the core are used in the periphery, the content and context must be made comprehensible to readers who do not possess the taken-for-granted knowledge of its original audience. For example, if the text is "Tally's Corner," students outside of the US must be provided with explanations about the history of discrimination, racial segregation, and institutionalized racism because they have no prior knowledge or personal experience of racial politics in America. In addition, students should be encouraged to identify and/or reflect on power structures they have observed or experienced in their own local setting. These steps are necessary to prepare local students to employ QR as an alternative means of inquiry to recognize the distinction between the powerful and the powerless, to identify sources of power, to understand the consequences of exercising such power, and to explore means of challenging the domination. A comparative analysis implied in GQR compels researchers to read writings from peripheral scholars as a collective whole to clarify, for example, how publishing translated materials in the periphery affected QR development. [23]

To disrupt Anglo-American domination locally, there is a need for local and international forums focusing on curriculum development. This could build upon research- and project-based international collaboration between the core and periphery in the past. This kind of forum will provide a space for teaching resources to be shared, pedagogical strategies to be developed and, most importantly, critical perspectives to be explored. For example, it is essential to explore how to transfer and transcend QR simultaneously across the core-peripheral divide. Peripheral readers need to be supplied with the knowledge needed to interpret translated text. The original authors and publishing houses profit from intellectual and financial dividends through wholesale translation, researchers from the core establishment are therefore intellectually and politically obligated to change the unidirectional flow of knowledge and capital from the core to the periphery into an intellectual dialogue that disrupts the hierarchical, core-periphery divide. It will take time and effort to find specific strategies to amend the gap in translation and imbalance in knowledge exchange between the core and periphery, and deliberate effort and intellectual commitment will be indispensable to this process. [24]

Much collective research from the periphery has focused on critiquing Anglo-American domination at the international level. Insufficient attention has been paid to domestic obstacles and the transformative potential many qualitative scholars have documented as they introduce QR from the core to their local intellectual community. Moreover, qualitative scholars in the periphery should explore how they could enrich the existing "toolbox" of QR and how their indigenization of QR could expand the horizon of QR methodologically and/or epistemologically. For example, examining the meaning of memories in a particular cultural context could lead to methodological questions about how to capture the meaning of memory when it is continuously written and re-written as the subject asserts him/herself in an ever changing cultural and/or political environment. In post-Marxist states, qualitative scholars must examine how to teach and practice reflexivity in QR where self-examination and/or reflective writing have long been appropriated as a disciplinary device and/or for political persecution. Insights gained from such discussions could compel us to re-examine methodological practices and epistemological understanding of reflexivity in QR. [25]

Such exercises not only encourage qualitative scholars in the periphery to discuss what unique contributions they could make to QR in a globalized world, but they invite all qualitative scholars to reconsider what a globalized QR might entail. It is not yet clear, in a globalized world of QR, whether there is just one "toolbox" created by the core, from which qualitative scholars in the periphery will continue to retrieve and return tools as consumers. Or, will there be multiple toolboxes where qualitative scholars from the core and periphery are both the producers and consumers? We are also challenged to consider whether there is a set of generic attributes in QR that is applicable across cultural, historical, and political differences and if so, what are they? As knowledge producers, qualitative scholars in the core need to not only continuously confront local hegemonic current, cultivate critical perspectives, and reflect upon practices, it must also begin adopting new vision and develop new practices as a globalized world of QR emerges. As argued by GONZALEZ and LINCOLN (2006), Western and other international scholars studying the periphery can no longer direct their findings solely to a Western audience; they must make their work relevant and accessible to the locals or natives. A recent publication, entitled "Qualitative Inquiry and Global Crisis," demonstrates that it takes qualitative researchers from both the core and periphery to address global communities in crisis (DENZIN & GIARDINA, 2011). It is worthwhile to explore how productive, inter-national and inter-cultural dialogue could take place with respect and without silencing and how QR could be an emancipatory means of justice, sustainability, and socio-political transformation. [26]

Issues that deserve further discussion of GQR also include how to preserve contextual nuance across disciplinary and/or geopolitical boundaries and how to share knowledge and engage intellectual exchange across languages, disciplines, and geopolitical regions. There are no easy and quick answers to those questions. Nevertheless, over the last decade, the core-periphery divide is "flattened," albeit partially, by the open access movement that advocates free access and facilitates knowledge dissemination. The potential of open access to dramatically improve the flow of knowledge becomes increasingly evident. It is therefore important to recognize the tangible contributions of academic journals such as FQS that have made globalized "toolboxes" accessible to all interested, while also questioning how to accelerate such developments. [27]


This project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research in Canada. I appreciate editorial assistance from Sherri KLASSEN and Linn CLARK. Joan EAKIN has helped clarify my thinking and writing. Special thanks go to reviewers of this article and the editors of FQS.


1) DENZIN and LINCOLN identify seven stages in the development of QR in North America. ALASUUTARI argues that these stages are merely ideological constructs, projecting a temporal metaphor distinctively different from an inclusive, spatial metaphor that is receptive to multiple developments worldwide and the influences flowing across the core-periphery divide and across diverse disciplines. <back>

2) Editors at Qualitative Sociology indicated that qualitative researchers in the periphery made them aware of previously unfamiliar "other traditions" that were distinctively different from the ones in the US. However, there was no discussion about what such discovery meant. Instead, the editors hoped the "special issue will contribute to the development of an international perspective among qualitative sociologists in the U.S.A. and elsewhere" (REINHARZ & CONRAD, 1988, p.11). <back>

3) In "Tally's Corner," LIEBOW provides detailed analysis of the neighborhood and socio-economic lives of the street corner black men and how they endure vicious cycles of discrimination, unemployment and poverty. "All Our Kin" is an anthropological study of the family dynamics and survival strategies of a black community in the United States. STACK examines creative practices the black urban poor employ in response to dire economic circumstances and systematic structures that perpetuate poverty and social inequalities. Both books were among the first ethnographic studies that challenged the stereotypes that blacks were morally inferior and responsible for their position. The books have become classics on ethnography and urban sociology in North America. <back>


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Ping-Chun HSIUNG has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in qualitative research methods. She is currently conducting (a) research on the practices and historical development of qualitative research in China.


Ping-Chun Hsiung

Department of Sociology
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


E-mail: pchsiung@utsc.utoronto.ca
URL: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~pchsiung


Hsiung, Ping-Chun (2012). The Globalization of Qualitative Research: Challenging Anglo-American Domination and Local Hegemonic Discourse [27 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 13(1), Art. 21,

Copyright (c) 2012 Ping-Chun Hsiung

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