Outlining Cultural Qualitative Content Analysis

Stefan Bauernschmidt


In this article I propose an independent research method within the field of qualitative content analysis: cultural qualitative content analysis. By outlining the underlying conceptual and methodological framework, I illustrate the independence of the method under consideration. To demonstrate its applicability, I examine the subject-matter of cultural qualitative content analysis from a substantive perspective: what is analyzed when studying communication? In order to answer this question, it is necessary to make certain cultural assumptions which fundamentally determine what the subject-matter of the research should be, and thus how to generate appropriate empirical data. Closely related to this theoretical reference are methodological clarifications: how to structure cultural qualitative content analysis to enable the investigation of multiple connotations as genuine subject-matter of the research? Drawing on a specific observation-leading vocabulary (semiotic concept of culture, dialogical, situational-interactive concept of communication, concept of meaningful context), I elaborate on the communication process and the content of communication, as well as on the methodological implications for researchers using cultural qualitative content analysis: proceeding in line with the principles of openness, context-sensitivity and multiperspectivity.


cultural qualitative content analysis; qualitative content analysis; interpretative research; cultural- and object-theoretical frame of reference; interpretative methodology; process generated data; connotative material; multiple connotations

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-21.1.3441

Copyright (c) 2020 Stefan Bauernschmidt

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