The Societal Nature of Subjectivity: An Interdisciplinary Methodological Challenge

Henning Salling Olesen


The thematic issue presents a psycho-societal approach to qualitative empirical research in several areas of everyday social life. It is an approach which integrates a theory of subjectivity and an interpretation methodology which integrates hermeneutic experiences from text analysis and psychoanalysis. Its particular focus is on subjectivity—as an aspect of the research object and as an aspect of the research process. By the term "approach" is indicated the intrinsic connection between the theorizing of an empirical object and the reflection of the research process and the epistemic subject. In terms of methodology it revives the themes originally launched in FQS exactly ten years ago: "Subjectivity and Reflectivity in Qualitative Research" (BREUER, MRUCK & ROTH, 2002; MRUCK & BREUER, 2003). This editorial introduction presents the intellectual background of the psycho-societal methodology, reflects on its relevance and critical perspectives in a contemporary landscape of social science, and comments the way in which an international and interdisciplinary research group has developed this approach to profane empirical research.



psycho-societal; subjectivity; in-depth hermeneutic; unconscious; constructivism; practicism; interdisciplinarity; reflexivity; material; embodying

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Copyright (c) 2012 Henning Salling Olesen

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