Profile of the Section

The section is particularly dedicated to the development of empirical research methods, sociological research on violence, and digitalization in health care. With reference to Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of the subjective body, the interpretative paradigm of Alfred Schütz is further developed and new forms of intentionality are made fruitful for phenomenology. On this basis, a method for video interaction analysis was conceived that takes into account the special content of visual-bodily behavior. It allows to go beyond the classic model of interaction with two human actors, limited to their content of consciousness. This approach is therefore more suitable for the study of networks between humans and nonhumans in the context of functioning. This perspective is currently used to study situations of violence and conflict as well as care relationships in child protection.

In teaching, the department provides an overview of current methodologies and methods of qualitative social research. Tailored to the specific requirements in social work, selected methods are applied and discussed together. The idea of inquiry-based learning is pursued by supporting students in developing and implementing their own project ideas. As the research design of qualitative methods is always object-related, the specific phenomena of social order to be studied in social work are selected in a first step and then the appropriate method for the chosen object is picked in a second step.