Relational and Dimensional: Heuristic Dimensions in Situational Analysis Using the Example of Care Practices and Their Materiality


  • Marc J. Bubeck Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität
  • Bianca Jansky Universität Augsburg



The consideration of materiality is an essential component of the social sciences of the 21st century. For empirical social research, this poses methodological challenges, especially concerning non-human actors and their corporeality. Therefore, specific analytical strategies are required. Situational analysis, focusing on the relationality of heterogeneous actors generating a situation, offers one such possibility. In this article, we explore the multidimensionality and relationality of materiality through two empirical projects about care practices in the medical field. Examples are euthanizing of horses in veterinary medicine and automated technologies in managing type 1 diabetes. In the analysis, we focus on the materiality of the relational network. We propose to extend the situation analysis toolbox by adding dimensionalizing relational mapping, where we categorize the relations between elements into dimensions. In the examples, we use a dimensionalization inspired by care theory. The use of different colors in the mapping practice highlights the multidimensionality of the situation and gives more analytical space to the complexity of the material and embodied connections.


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Author Biographies

Marc J. Bubeck, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität

Marc J. BUBECK ist Doktorand am Institut für Soziologie der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München und Lehrbeauftragter an der Funktionsstelle Geschlechtersoziologie der Universität Potsdam. Seine Forschungsinteressen umfassen qualitative Methoden, Professionssoziologie, Human-Animal Studies und Veterinary Humanities.

Bianca Jansky, Universität Augsburg

Bianca JANSKY ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Institut für Ethik und Geschichte der Gesundheit in der Gesellschaft der Universität Augsburg und Doktorandin am Institut für Soziologie der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München. Ihre Forschungsinteressen umfassen qualitative Methoden, Science and Technology Studies und empirische Bioethik.



How to Cite

Bubeck, M. J., & Jansky, B. (2023). Relational and Dimensional: Heuristic Dimensions in Situational Analysis Using the Example of Care Practices and Their Materiality. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 24(2).



Social Worlds, Arenas, and Situational Analyses: Theoretical Debates and Practical Research Experiences