The Reconstruction of Meaning. Notes on German Interpretive Sociology

  • Ronald Hitzler Universität Dortmund
Keywords: interpretive sociology, methods of qualitative research, biographical research, sociol­ogy of knowledge, objective hermeneutics


The epistemological goal of interpretive sociology is the reconstruction of meaning. The basic internal differences appear clearly in the theoretical answers to the question as to where meaning is originally constituted. Within German sociology four main perspectives have become institutionalised, in a) the "Methods of Qualitative Research" Section, b) the "Biographical Research" Section, c) the "Sociology of Knowledge" Section (formerly "Sociology of Language"), and d) the "Objective Hermeneutics" Association. The central theoretical and methodological questions and answers of these different groups are described, and it is pointed out which developments orig­inated abroad and which are specific to German sociology. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0503450


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Author Biography

Ronald Hitzler, Universität Dortmund
Ronald HITZLER (, Prof. Dr.
How to Cite
Hitzler, R. (2005). The Reconstruction of Meaning. Notes on German Interpretive Sociology. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(3).
National Overviews: Qualitative Methods in Various European Countries in Comparison to the U.S.