Online Participant Videos: A New Type of Data for Interpretative Social Research?

Robert Schmidt, Basil Wiesse


Online participant videos (OPV) are audiovisual participant accounts of social situations and events. OPV circulate in social media as well as online video culture, following their particular technical, medial, and social logics. Furthermore, depending on genre, OPV frequently document and highlight participants' own interpretations of social life. OPV thus presents itself as a complex, yet promising kind of data for interpretative video analysis. In our teaching research projects, we have worked extensively with this data type, especially in the context of sociology of political protest events. Based on these experiences, we present heuristic and methodical approaches to the analysis of OPV. In particular, we demonstrate that the analytic potential of OPV lies most notably within interpretative sociology of affect.


interpretative video analysis; social media; sociology of political protest; sociology of affect; ethnomethodology


Copyright (c) 2019 Robert Schmidt, Basil Wiesse

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