Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory as a Sensitization and Examination Pattern for Empirical Analyses

André Epp


In this article, I discuss the use of BRONFENBRENNER's (1981) ecological systems theory as an examination pattern in combination with qualitative content analysis for empirical research. This is discussed from both theoretical and practical points of view. My aim is not only limited to the consideration of the benefits of using the ecological systems theory as an analytical tool, but also its consequences. The four systems defined by BRONFENBRENNER—micro, meso, exo, and macro—enable a more sophisticated perspective in different contexts. The approach to link ecological systems theory as a pattern with qualitative content analysis and how both are used in the practical analytical process is outlined using as an illustration an ongoing research project in which teachers’ efforts to aid the transition of their students from school to apprenticeship is explored.


ecological systems theory; qualitative content analysis; beliefs systems; practical theories; Bronfenbrenner


Copyright (c) 2017 André Epp

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