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Introduction to Interpretive Videoanalysis of Social Situations

Hubert Knoblauch, René Tuma and Bernt Schnettler

This book provides an overview of the current state of video analysis, including the most recent developments in this rapidly growing field. It covers various methodological approaches. The authors address practical and technical questions and potential problems arising during the research process. The book also offers a perspective on the theoretical embedding of videography in the interpretive approaches to social research. It comes equipped with detailed, user-friendly aids, including suggestions for further reading, technical pointers, and case studies. The book will be particularly useful for social researchers interested in the collection and analysis of video data on natural interactions and in sociological ethnography.


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5 Videography


This chapter addresses the production of video data in field research and the subsequent handling of these data. In this process, special attention is given to the ethnography. Video analysis is embedded in the methodological framework of ‘focused ethnography’. In this context, we will address legal and ethical impli- cations as well; in addition, technical problems of recording with the camera are discussed and illustrated by using several examples. Before turning to the topic of transcription in the next chapter, we will present here the necessary preliminary steps in sampling and data processing. Videography—which is both the core and the title of this book—is a method that we use as researchers to examine the reciprocal action, based on communication—the interaction—of actors in different situations. Here, as demonstrated in the section on the development and history of audiovisual analyses (see Chapter 2 above), we look back on a broad tradi- tion of analyses in behavioral science or even of analyses of rituals in cul- tures that are more or less strange to us. The central feature of videogra- phy, in contrast to other methods dealing with visual data, is its focus on interaction rather than, for example, on media products and their effects (the difference was explained in Chapters 3 and 4). Videography denotes the linking of ethnographic fieldwork with anal- yses of video recordings of “natural” interactions. In this chapter, before taking a closer look at the evaluation of the data acquired in videography, we want...

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