The Reconstruction of Meaning. The State of the Art in German Interpretive Sociology
The common epistemological goal of interpretive sociology is the reconstruction of meaning (sense). The basic internal differences appear clearly in the theoretical answers to the question how meaning is original constituted. Within German sociology four main perspectives have become institutionalised: a) the working group "methods of qualitative research," b) the section "biographical research," c) the section "sociology of knowledge" (formerly "sociology of language"), and d) the association "objective hermeneutics." The central theoretical and methodological questions and answers of these different groups are described, and it is pointed out which developments originated abroad and which are specific to German sociology.
interpretive sociology; methods of qualitative research; biographical research; sociology of knowledge; objective hermeneutics