Review: Norman K. Denzin: Interpretive Interactionism (2nd edition)

  • Henning Salling Olesen Roskilde University
Keywords: research methodology, interpretation, interpretive interactionism, ethnography, biography, hermeneutics


This book is the second edition of a book first published in 1989. It presents and argues DENZIN's particular synthesis of interactionism, hermeneutics and ethnography, which may enable researchers to understand the way in which societal conflicts and transitions appear in the lifeworld perspective. The book goes through the phases of empirical social research, providing summarizing arguments and advice. It brings examples, relying on biographical studies and thick description ethnography. It situates the approach in "the post-modern period." The book may too brief for practical inspiration for readers, unless readers already possess extensive practical experience. What the book does present is a sympathetic reflection on the challenges of applied social research, and DENZIN's position. This review highlights the interesting similarities and differences between American and European interpretational approaches, suggesting that DENZIN may attach interpretation too strongly to the individual and his/her immediate consciousness. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0204529


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Author Biography

Henning Salling Olesen, Roskilde University
Henning SALLING OLESEN is professor and director for Graduate School in Lifelong Learning at Roskilde University, Denmark. His research interests focus on life history and qualitative methodology in educational research, work identity, work related learning and socialization.
How to Cite
Salling Olesen, H. (2002). Review: Norman K. Denzin: Interpretive Interactionism (2nd edition). Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 3(4).
Methodology and Methods