Qualitative Methods in Europe: The Variety of Social Research


  • Hubert Knoblauch Technische Universität Berlin
  • Uwe Flick Alice Salomon FH, University of Applied Sciences, Berlin
  • Christoph Maeder University of Teacher Education Thurgau




qualitative methods, Europe, interpretive social research


This paper serves as an introduction to the special issue of FQS on "Qualitative Methods in Europe". It outlines the particular situation of qual­itative research in this realm, which is charac­terised by diversity and unity. Diversity since the different intellectual traditions and institutional structures of the social sciences, which form the background of qualitative research differ signifi­cantly between the various countries. This variation indicates a number of traditional ways to do qual­itative research that complement and complete the well-known Anglo-Saxon development. Unity, since despite all the differences, the various ways of doing research are characterised by the inter­pretive paradigm, a way of "doing" social sciences that builds on meaning, understanding and context. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0503342


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Author Biographies

Hubert Knoblauch, Technische Universität Berlin

Hubert KNOBLAUCH is Professor of General Sociology at the Technical University of Berlin. He is also Chair of the Research Network Qualitative Methods in the European Sociological Association. His research interests comprise of religion, communication, knowledge, and qualitative methods, and video analysis being his current focus. Recent publications include Hubert KNOBLAUCH and Helga KOTTHOFF (Eds.), Verbal Art across Cultures. The Aesthetic and Proto-Aesthetic Forms of Communication. Tübingen: Gunter Narr 2001; Hubert KNOBLAUCH, Wissenssoziologie (Sociology of Knowledge), Konstanz: UTB 2005; Hubert KNOBLAUCH and Bernt SCHNETTLER (Eds.), Video-Analysis. Methodology and Methods. Berlin: Lang (in print).

Uwe Flick, Alice Salomon FH, University of Applied Sciences, Berlin

Uwe FLICK is Professor of Qualitative Research in Nursing, Social Work and Social Gerontology at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences, Berlin. He is Chair of the Division "Methoden der Qualitativen Sozialforschung" (Methods of Qualitative Research) in the German Sociological Association. His main research interests are health concepts and behaviours in different social groups, the theory of social representation and the methodology of qualitative research. Recent publications include: Uwe FLICK, An Introduction to Qualitative Research (third edition). London, Thousand Oaks: Sage 2006 (German ed.: 2002 – Rowohlt; Spanish ed. 2004 – Morata; Portuguese ed.: 2005 – Monitor; Brazilian ed.: 2004 – Artmed/Longman; Japanese ed. 2002: – Shunju-Sha; Farsi ed: 2004 – Samae Ghalam Publisher; Chinese ed: 2006; Korean ed.: 2006). Uwe FLICK, Ernst von KARDORFF & Ines STEINKE (Eds.) A Companion to Qualitative Research. London: Sage. 2004 (German ed.: 2000 – Rowohlt). Uwe FLICK (Ed.) The Qualitative Research Kit (8 vol.). London: Sage 2006 (forthcoming). Uwe FLICK, Triangulation – eine Einführung (Triangulation – an Introduction). Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften 2004.

Christoph Maeder, University of Teacher Education Thurgau

Prof. Dr. Christoph MAEDER; fields of work: sociology of knowledge, education and culture, organizational studies, ethnographic sociology




How to Cite

Knoblauch, H., Flick, U., & Maeder, C. (2005). Qualitative Methods in Europe: The Variety of Social Research. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(3). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-6.3.3

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