Sociological Hermeneutics – Methods and Methodology

Monday, 11 July 2016: 14:15-15:45
Location: Hörsaal 4A KS (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
RC33 Logic and Methodology in Sociology (host committee)

Language: English

According to one of the founding fathers of sociology, Max Weber, the aim of sociological research is to interpretively understand social action and thereby explain its course and effects. Although understanding is accomplished anytime by actors in everyday life, scientific methods have to be employed, if understanding is to be achieved by social scientists in a traceable manner and in compliance with the rules of good scientific practice. In past decades, a multitude of qualitative methods have been implemented into the social sciences in order to fulfil this task. 
Among them, Social Hermeneutics has recently become increasingly important for the analysis of several types of data, e.g. interaction sequences, texts, gestures, pictures, video sequences, music or objects. It developed in the context of the sociology of knowledge and is, therefore, closely connected to the theoretical and methodological findings and thoughts of this scholarly tradition. 
As a result, employing Social Hermeneutics does not only involve the interpretive understanding of any kind of data, but also reflects on the characteristics of scientific understanding, the process of understanding in everyday life itself, as well as on the relation between the two. Although the prominence of Social Hermeneutics exceeded the borders of German-speaking sociology years ago, the international scientific discourse on this methodological complex has just begun. 
This session therefore aims at locating and bringing together sociologists and social scientists of all nationalities employing Social Hermeneutics in empirical studies, or dealing with theoretical considerations on methodical or methodological questions in this field. Thereby, the specific methodological challenges of Social Hermeneutics shall be explored, and the benefits and drawbacks of its specific methods shall be discussed. 
Papers debating general methodological questions, as well as those discussing specific problems using Social Hermeneutics in a particular research project are equally welcome.
Session Organizers:
Regine HERBRIK, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany and Silvana FIGUEROA-DREHER, University of Constance, Germany
Social Sciences and the Making of Brazil's Intangible Cultural Heritage
Gabriele DOS ANJOS, Fundacao de Economia e Estatistica, Brazil
Structural Hermeneutics Reconsidered
Werner BINDER, Masaryk University, Czech Republic
Express the Inexpressible - Sketches As Data for a Reconstructive Analysis
Nicole WITTE, University of Goettingen - Center of Methods in Social Sciences, Germany