Johannes Becker & Marian Burchardt: Doing Global Sociology: Qualitative Methods and Biographical Becoming after the Postcolonial Critique – An Introduction. [Abstract]
In this issue we frame Global Sociology as a critical perspective on doing sociology on a global scale, considering the specificities of societies worldwide as well as global interrelations, and involving areas and sociologies that are only insufficiently represented in the discipline’s mainstream. Thus, we consider Global Sociology as a practical as well as critical approach to sociology. We argue that there is a need to strengthen the contribution of empirical, especially qualitative sociological research on and in societies of the Global South to general sociological theory-building. Global Sociology requires, first and foremost, the methodologically informed development of conceptual tools for understanding contemporary, globally entangled social worlds through theory-building based on empirical research in the Global South. Taking, in this way, biographical research as an exemplary field of qualitative research in the contributions to this issue, we suggest three research strategies: First, the scrutinizing of the universality or applicability of existing concepts from the North, when applied elsewhere; second, charting the challenges that emerge for biographical research on the one hand from the transregional entanglements of societies and from the unfolding of processes of biographical becoming across different geographical spaces; and on the other from a comparative perspective, i.e., identifying the differences and similarities between the structural forces that shape biographies and their narrative articulations in different regions. And third, scrutinizing the ways in which the location of societies in the Global South at the margins of global systems of domination in history conditions the possibilities and forms of biographical research via (post-)colonial entanglements.
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