How Do Trend Researchers Conduct Research? The Production of Knowledge in a Controversial Field


  • Michaela Pfadenhauer Universität Wien



trends, trend research, market research, futurology, science studies, mode 2, legitimation of research, application orientation


The planned research project described in this article focuses on the methods of trend research—not only in a narrow literal sense of techniques of data collection and data evaluation but also in a broader understanding of the logic of knowledge production in this controversial field. Initially trend research can be appointed between market research on the one hand and futurology on the other hand. Criticism regarding trend research as well as its innovative potential is also mentioned. Following the recent studies, trend research is conceived as application-oriented research in a broad sense. As far as the methodology is concerned, the proposed study promises to be an empirically-founded contribution by integrating analysis from sources such as explorative and focused conversations, observations and expert interviews. The study uses the example of trend research and asks the question how research is actually "done" and if it is application oriented or not. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0402366


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Author Biography

Michaela Pfadenhauer, Universität Wien

Dr. Michaela PFADENHAUER, wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Lehrstuhl für Soziologie, insbesondere Arbeitssoziologie an der Fakultät Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften der Universität Dortmund. Wichtigste Arbeitsgebiete: Soziologie professionellen Handelns; multioptionales Konsumverhalten; wissenssoziologische Ethnographie. Neuere Veröffentlichungen: Pfadenhauer, Michaela (2003). Professionalität. Eine wissenssoziologische Rekonstruktion institutionalisierter Kompetenzdarstellungskompetenz. Opladen: Leske + Budrich; Hitzler, Ronald & Pfadenhauer, Michaela (Hrsg.) (2003). Karrierepolitik. Beiträge zur Rekonstruktion erfolgsorientierten Handelns. Opladen: Leske + Budrich.



How to Cite

Pfadenhauer, M. (2004). How Do Trend Researchers Conduct Research? The Production of Knowledge in a Controversial Field. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 5(2).