The Societal Nature of Subjectivity: An Interdisciplinary Methodological Challenge


  • Henning Salling Olesen Roskilde University



psycho-societal, subjectivity, in-depth hermeneutic, unconscious, constructivism, practicism, interdisciplinarity, reflexivity, material, embodying


The thematic issue presents a psycho-societal approach to qualitative empirical research in several areas of everyday social life. It is an approach which integrates a theory of subjectivity and an interpretation methodology which integrates hermeneutic experiences from text analysis and psychoanalysis. Its particular focus is on subjectivity—as an aspect of the research object and as an aspect of the research process. By the term "approach" is indicated the intrinsic connection between the theorizing of an empirical object and the reflection of the research process and the epistemic subject. In terms of methodology it revives the themes originally launched in FQS exactly ten years ago: "Subjectivity and Reflectivity in Qualitative Research" (BREUER, MRUCK & ROTH, 2002; MRUCK & BREUER, 2003). This editorial introduction presents the intellectual background of the psycho-societal methodology, reflects on its relevance and critical perspectives in a contemporary landscape of social science, and comments the way in which an international and interdisciplinary research group has developed this approach to profane empirical research.



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Author Biography

Henning Salling Olesen, Roskilde University

Henning SALLING OLESEN is professor, Roskilde University, and advisory professor at East China Normal University, Shanghai. He is the chair of the European Society of Research in the Education of Adults (ESREA) and co-editor of the Eur. J. for Res. in the Educ. and Learning of Adults (RELA). His research interests include theory of learning; life history and psycho-societal methodology; work related learning and work identities; adult education and adult learning; lifelong learning policy; cross cultural comparative learning research.




How to Cite

Salling Olesen, H. (2012). The Societal Nature of Subjectivity: An Interdisciplinary Methodological Challenge. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 13(3).