Limits of Interpretation or Interpretation at the Limits: Perspectives From Hermeneutics on the Re-Figuration of Space and Cross-Cultural Comparison
In this article, I discuss how social scientists can interpret intercultural data in a scientific manner. I argue that, when applying methods of social research, the interpretation of intercultural data does not differ fundamentally, but only slightly from the interpretation of intracultural data. However, it is important to include co-interpreters who are familiar with the culture under investigation into the process of interpreting intercultural data. In addition, I explain that hermeneutics has also come under pressure when faced with the interpretation of intracultural data: In hermeneutics, the premise of the unity of culture of the investigated and the investigators presupposes that cultures are delimitable and that they essentially are not further subdivided. If such a unity of culture ever existed, this unity has undoubtedly been eroded by international developments in recent decades and the concomitant need for contact. Based on these reflections, I conclude by presenting and discussing possibilities for as well as limits on inter- and intracultural interpretation.
Copyright (c) 2021 Jo Reichertz
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