Qualitative Content Analysis: From Kracauer's Beginnings to Today's Challenges

Udo Kuckartz


At the beginning of the 1950s, when communication research was at its peak, KRACAUER coined the term "qualitative content analysis." Today, the method is one of the most frequently used social research methods in Germany. Building on KRACAUER's line of argument, in this article I identify three fields for further development of the method: first, a more qualitative type of analysis following the formation of categories and the data coding process; second, a case orientation complementing category-based analysis, which is characteristic of qualitative research but has so far played a negligible role in qualitative content analysis; third, a stronger reference to the international methodological discussion where qualitative content analysis remains a little known method. In addition, I further reflect on methodological considerations, concluding by focusing on standards and quality criteria and advocating for the continued development of methodological rigor.


qualitative analysis methods; qualitative content analysis; category formation; methodological rigor; coding frame; coding; case analysis

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-20.3.3370

Copyright (c) 2019 Udo Kuckartz

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