Ethnography of Scenes. Towards a Sociological Life-world Analysis of (Post-traditional) Community-building

Michaela Pfadenhauer


The kind of ethnography presented in this article is a further development of life-world analytical ethnography. The continuation of this approach is labelled "ethnography of scenes" be­cause it a) mainly deals with post-traditional com­munities, especially with youth (club) culture and because b) it observes relationships with a, so to speak, scenic point of view. As is true for ethnography as a whole, this research concept is (also) an attempt to depart from a pseudo-objective "overview" that sweeps over the actors' heads. Its goal is to painstakingly reach for an intimate knowledge of life-worlds, as it were, "viewed through the eyes" of the actors. This explorative program has so far been pursued most consistently by life-world analysis in the tradition of Alfred SCHÜTZ. Sociological life-world analysis now goes beyond a purely phenomenological life-world approach insofar as it aims at reconstructing the subjective perspective, i.e. the life-worlds, of other actors. Accordingly the phenomenological description has in this case been embedded in a triangulative ethnographic research concept that links field-relevant data of every kind to practical participant data while employing a plurality of methods. Although participation for the purpose of perspective-taking is the basic procedure of this approach, it integrates this into further procedures of data collection such as observation and inter­views. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0503430


ethnography; scene; youth cultures; observant participation; life-world analysis

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Copyright (c) 2005 Michaela Pfadenhauer

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