Mapping Temporalities and Processes With Situational Analysis: Methodological Issues and Advances


  • Philipp Knopp Universität Wien



situational analysis, time, process analysis, police, qualitative methods, grounded theory methodology


Qualitative methods incorporate certain concepts of time and temporality. In this article, methods are introduced as media of visualization that allow researchers to render certain temporal aspects of social life visible and intelligible while hiding others. This approach to qualitative analytical methods holds various insights, which are demonstrated by examining the distinctive media design of mapping techniques in situational analysis. Even though situational analysis was developed to support historical analysis, the visual features of its maps hamper the representation of succession and the analysis of the step-by-step making of processes. To address this issue, I propose a rearrangement of the media features of flat maps to build flip maps. With flip maps researchers can widen their analytical capabilities by creating moving situational maps. The new type of analytical map supports the analysis of multiple temporalities and processes without losing the beneficial visual characteristics of mapping that allow for depicting the wider configurations of elements that shape processes. An analytical example of a police emergency conversation is used to illustrate these new opportunities.


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Author Biography

Philipp Knopp, Universität Wien

Philipp KNOPP is a university assistant and doctoral researcher at the Department of Sociology of the University of Vienna. He works on police practices and protest movements. In his ongoing doctoral thesis, he is concerned with classification and knowledge practices in Austrian police control rooms and their technological mediatization.




How to Cite

Knopp, P. (2021). Mapping Temporalities and Processes With Situational Analysis: Methodological Issues and Advances. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 22(3).