Research Methods and Fieldwork
This chapter describes how data on girls’ hand labor and footbinding was collected in order to examine the possible links between them. It describes the method of inquiry and the selection of village research sites in eight provinces. Interviews and surveys with elderly women asked about their experiences as young girls before marriage. These interviews supplied first-hand information of both qualitative and quantitative value concerning their household economy, their hand labor as girls and footbinding experiences, and indirect data on the footbinding of their senior kinswomen. Assembling the responses first by region and then in the aggregate can reveal whether girls who were required to do handcrafts were also those who were likely to have had their feet bound. The chapter outlines the general characteristics of the village locations, sample size, and women’s birth years and education levels.
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