Review Essay: Understanding Collectivity in a Collective Way—The Group Discussion Method in Discussion

  • Anja Fiedler Kriminologisches Forschungsinstitut Niedersachsen (KFN e.V.)
Keywords: qualitative social research, reconstructive social research, group discussion methods, documentary method, discourse analysis


The group discussion method enjoys an increasing popularity, especially in more recent qualitative research. With their book The Method of Group Discussion. Theoretical Basics and Empirical Application Peter LOOS and Burkhard SCHÄFFER intend both an introduction to the methodological background of the method and to its use and analysis in the sense of reconstructive social research that is demonstrated in three case studies (text passages from group discussions with soldiers, young musicians, as well as pupils, teachers and senior citizens). In doing so, they delimit the group discussion method to the group conversation and the group interview. They see the group discussion method as a possibility to grasp collective phenomena in their inchoate form, namely the articulation of the group. In about 100 pages the authors provide a comprehensive and easily intelligible introduction to the basics and principles of the group discussion method and the practice of its application. The Method of Group Discussion. Theoretical Basics and Empirical Application is an excellent introductory book for anybody who wants to be informed about the method or wants to work with it. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0204293


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Author Biography

Anja Fiedler, Kriminologisches Forschungsinstitut Niedersachsen (KFN e.V.)
Anja FIEDLER (Dipl.-Sozialpädagogin [FH], Dipl.-Kriminologin) ist derzeit Stipendiatin am Kriminologischen Forschungsinstitut Niedersachsen in Hannover und arbeitet dort mit qualitativer Methodik (Gruppendiskussionen, Interviews) im Projekt "Polizei im Wandel". Ihr Dissertationsvorhaben beschäftigt sich mit dem Thema Binnenklima bzw. Binnenkommunikation innerhalb der Polizei. Dabei werden Gruppendiskussionen und Interviews mit Polizeibeamt/innen geführt, um sich der Frage nach Sinn- und Orientierungsmustern von Polizist/-innen im innerorganisatorischen Austausch zu nähern. Forschungs- und Interessenschwerpunkte: Methoden qualitativer Sozialforschung (insbesondere Gruppendiskussionsverfahren), Wissenssoziologie, empirische Polizeiforschung (insbesondere polizeiliches Selbstverständnis, polizeiliches Einsatzhandeln, Polizeikultur), Organisationskulturforschung.
Methodology and Methods