Review: Sebastian Ziegaus (2009). Die Abhängigkeit der Sozialwissenschaften von ihren Medien. Grundlagen einer kommunikativen Sozialforschung [The Social Sciences' Dependency on their Media. Foundations of Communicative Social Research]
In this study Sebastian ZIEGAUS analyzes the communicative construction of scientific practice. With developments in new media and the internet, new means of interaction in research systems evolve. ZIEGAUS's interest lies in the interaction between researcher and research object. He points to a lack of methodological reflection regarding interactional and medial effects in the social sciences. He thus argues that the self-description of social sciences must change through the implementation of the ideal of "communicative social research." ZIEGAUS does not adopt the perspective of a social researcher, but that of a theoretically interested communication scientist—giving rise to both the merits and shortcomings of the book. The empirical part of the study includes a creative exploration of the epistemological foundations of various social theories and their handling of complexity. However, his call for the social sciences to unite under the flag of "communicative social research" is somewhat unconvincing, and fails to tie in satisfactorily with the empirical findings.
communicative social research; media; communication studies