Review: Siegfried Saerberg (2006). "Geradeaus ist einfach immer geradeaus". Eine lebensweltliche Ethnographie blinder Raumorientierung ["Straight on Is Simply Always Straight on". An Ethnography of the Spatial Orientation of Blind People]

  • Dirk vom Lehn King's College London
Keywords: visually impaired people, blind people, cognitive style, style of perception, social interaction, phenomenology of the mundane, multimodality, Alfred Schutz


Sociological research has shown relatively little interest in the lifeworld of the blind. Analyses of social encounters primarily focus on visual and audible aspects of interaction. They largely ignore that people populate the everyday who cannot participate in the visual world: the blind. Hence, very little research has been undertaken that explores how blind and sighted participants interact with each other. This lack of research can partly be ascribed to our ignorance of the way in which blind people experience and make sense of the world. The blind sociologist Siegfried SAERBERG has delivered a book that elaborates on the specific characteristics of the way in which blind people perceive the world and compares the perception style of blind and sighted participants. He uses the knowledge from this comparison to analyse interactions between blind and sighted participants. He explicates some of the problems the participants face in these encounters and the strategies they rely on to solve them. The book ends with a discussion of the significance of these findings for academic debates in the sociology of the everyday and the reinvigorated discussions in the sociology of space. It also explores the implications of the findings for the development of a "blind culture" that is integrated within a world currently largely defined by the culture of the sighted and their style of perception. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0801196


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Dirk vom Lehn, King's College London
Dirk VOM LEHN (PhD.) ist Research Fellow in "Work, Interaction and Technology", einem Forschungsteam im Department of Management am King's College London. Forschungsschwerpunkte: Soziale Interaktion und Technologie, Besucher- / Rezeptionsforschung und Ausstellungsdesign, Interaktion und informelle Märkte, Ethnomethodologie, Video-basierte Ethnografie. In vorangegangenen Ausgaben von FQS hat Dirk VOM LEHN Besprechungen verfasst zu: "Michaela Goll: Arbeiten im Netz. Kommunikationsstrukturen, Arbeitsabläufe, Wissensmanagement" ( und "Jörg Strübing: Pragmatistische Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung. Theorie und Methode" (

Most read articles by the same author(s)