Collective Research in Autobiography

Stefan Busse, Christiane Ehses, Rainer Zech


Collective Research in Autobiography" is a qualitative method of working on autobiographical text materials (interviews or written episodes and stories) in a research group. It was developed in the early 1980s from the starting point of basic positions of Critical Psychology concerning the theory of the subject (ZECH 1983, 1988). Today, it synthesizes perspectives taken from the theory of the subject and systems theory. With Collective Research in Autobiography, the widespread separation into researcher and researched subject is dispensed with, as the person concerned will him/herself learn the theories and methods and use them analytically for the personal situation. The research procedure is characterized by the following: In these four roles, the subjects are permanently present as persons affected and experts at the same time. The cognitive interest of Collective Research in Autobiography is not only in self-enlightenment and broadening of the individual's ability to act, but furthermore in the reconstruction of general types concerning ways of acting and explaining in social situations that can be paraphrased. The research setting is intended as a multi-leveled group process, in which texts of different orders—from case studies to theoretical texts—will be generated.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs000246


collective research in autobiography; critical psychology; theory of the subject; systems theory; individual ability to act; general types concerning ways of acting and explaining; identity between researcher and researched subject; interactive multi-levelled group process


Copyright (c) 2000 Stefan Busse, Christiane Ehses, Rainer Zech

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