Reading Qualitative Social Research Interculturally: The Reflection of Self-interpretation in the Act of Interpersonal Understanding (Fremdverstehen)


  • Jan Kruse Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg



indexical, the principle of other-awareness (in the act of interpersonal understanding, according to "Fremdverstehen" by Alfred Schütz), qualitative interviewing, self-reflexivity, theoretical sensibility, processuality of research


In this contribution, I attempt to justify the following two assumptions: Firstly, that intercultural communication is, at its heart, the communicative paradigm of qualitative interview-based research; and secondly that, vice versa, qualitative interview-based research is the methodical paradigm of intercultural communication. On the one side—from a linguistic point of view—the qualitative paradigm, with its methodical principles of communicability and context sensibility, cannot solve the problem of the indexicality of human language and communication—although the qualitative paradigm can indeed work on this problem prolifically. Handling and processing indexicality is, in this case, also a core task for intercultural communication. On the other side: Processing the linguistic problems of indexicality itself stands in the shadow of the epistomological problem of other-awareness (Fremdverstehen according to Alfred SCHÜTZ). In the same way in which Fremdverstehen represents the central mode of intercultural communication, the methodical control of Fremdverstehen—developed within the paradigm of reconstructive research—is the core mode of qualitative interview-based research. Thus, qualitative interview-based research and intercultural communication clearly converge in two aspects. The theoretical thoughts presented in this contribution are, in a second step, illustrated by a practical example. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0901162


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Author Biography

Jan Kruse, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Dr. Jan KRUSE ist wissenschaftlicher Angestellter und Dozent am Institut für Soziologie an der Universität Freiburg, Projektmitarbeiter, Lehrbeauftragter, selbstständiger Trainer und Forschungsconsultant für qualitative Interviewforschung, Vorstandsmitglied des Forschungsinstituts IQS Freiburg, e.V. (Institut für Qualitative Sozialforschung) und Leiter von KoQui (Kompetenzzentrum Qualitative Interviewforschung am Institut für Qualitative Sozialforschung, Freiburg, e.V.)



How to Cite

Kruse, J. (2009). Reading Qualitative Social Research Interculturally: The Reflection of Self-interpretation in the Act of Interpersonal Understanding (Fremdverstehen). Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(1).



Application, Innovation, Reflection and Training of Qualitative Methods