The Analysis of Professional Practice, the Self-Reflection of Practitioners, and their Way of Doing Things. Resources of Biography Analysis and Other Interpretative Approaches

Bettina Dausien, Andreas Hanses, Lena Inowlocki, Gerhard Riemann


The article serves as an introduction into the subject matter of this thematic issue of FQS and deals with the question how problems of professional work can become a topic of qualitative research. Focusing on issues of professional work has had an important place in biographical research for a long time. The consequences of professional interventions for the life histories of clients have been at the center of many studies, but also the relationships between the structures of experience and interpretation of professionals, on the one hand, and the specific features of their practice and their case analyses, on the other hand. Biographical research provides an empirically grounded critique and "enlightenment" of professional practice. It is often taught and practiced at professional schools, and (future) professionals can use it as a resource for discovery and understanding themselves—together with other interpretative approaches. By acquiring such research competencies they learn to look at their own practice with clients and the practice of others in a different way and they get ideas how to do things differently. The contributions to this thematic issue focus on preconditions, problems and consequences of professional work in different fields and illuminate the connection of the analysis of practice, professionals' self-reflection and their way of doing things. The articles were written by authors who belong to different disciplines in the social sciences and they are based on different approaches within the current spectrum of interpretative social research.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0801615


biography analysis; qualitative social research; research on professions; professional self-reflection; professional work


Copyright (c) 2008 Bettina Dausien, Andreas Hanses, Lena Inowlocki, Gerhard Riemann

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