Competence and Praxis: Sequential Analysis in German Sociology


  • Kai-Olaf Maiwald Universität Osnabrück



sequential analysis, case, con­ver­sa­tion analysis, objective hermeneutic, hermeneutic sociology of knowledge


In German social research nowadays most qualitative methodologies employ sequential analysis. This article explores the similarities and differences in conceptualising and practising this method. First, the working consensus, conceived as a shared set of methodological assumptions, is explicated. Second, with regard to three major paradigms of qualitative research in Germany—conversation analysis, objective hermeneutics, and hermeneutic sociology of knowledge—the dif­ferent ways of doing sequential analysis are investigated to locate the points of departure from a working consensus. It is argued that differences arise from different case-perspectives and, relative to that, from different modes of introducing general knowl­edge, i.e. knowledge that is not specific for the analysed case, into the interpretation. An import­ant notion to emerge from the comparison is the distinction between competence and praxis. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0503310


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Author Biography

Kai-Olaf Maiwald, Universität Osnabrück

Kai-Olaf MAIWALD Present position: Privatdozent at the Institute of Sociology, University of Tübingen, Germany; and researcher at the Institute of Social Research, Frankfurt, Germany. Co-editor of the journal sozialersinn. Zeitschrift für hermeneutische Sozialforschung. Major research areas: couple and family relationships; professionalisation; gender; law; biography; hermeneutic sociology




How to Cite

Maiwald, K.-O. (2005). Competence and Praxis: Sequential Analysis in German Sociology. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(3).