Pursuing Qualitative Research From the Global South: "Investigative Research" During China's "Great Leap Forward" (1958-62)


  • Ping-Chun Hsiung University of Toronto




qualitative research, Global South, investigative research, China's Great Leap Forward, decolonizing methodologies


Over the last decade, qualitative researchers have begun to challenge the domination and universalistic claims of the Global North. Nevertheless, it is still unclear what pursuing qualitative research (QR) from the Global South might entail. I advance this effort by situating it in the larger context of the decentering endeavor in social science and decolonizing methodologies in aboriginal scholarship. Informed by their locally-grounded approach in the quest for constructing alternative social science accounts and articulating decolonized knowledge, I argue that writing locally-grounded histories is an essential first step to explore methodologies and epistemologies of QR from the Global South. Noting that no national history of QR has been derived from the Global South, I present an example of writing the history of QR by examining MAO Zedong's legacy of "investigative research" (IR). Specifically, I analyze the practices of IR during China's "Great Leap Forward" (1958-62). In conclusion, I discuss the implications of IR to the development of social science research in contemporary China. I lay out key issues in pursuing QR from the Global South and present how such a pursuit is relevant to social science inquiry in the Global North.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs150325


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Author Biography

Ping-Chun Hsiung, University of Toronto

Ping-Chun HSIUNG conducts research on the politics, mechanism, and engendered process of knowledge production and ignorance perpetuation in local and global contexts. She has facilitated and contributed to critical dialogue across the core/periphery, Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal, and science/social sciences divides to advance the interpretative paradigm of social science inquiry. She is currently carrying out two studies. Through historical ethnography, archival research, and in-depth interviews she examines how investigative research was conducted, findings constructed, and policies derived during China's Great Leap Forward (1958-1962), which result in the great famine and 15-45 million deaths. Working with women's NGOs, she analyzes how rural women's participation to local governance is facilitated through transforming cultural and political practices in contemporary China (1995-2015).




How to Cite

Hsiung, P.-C. (2015). Pursuing Qualitative Research From the Global South: "Investigative Research" During China’s "Great Leap Forward" (1958-62). Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 16(3). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-16.3.2287



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