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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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1 Introduction: Video Analyses in Interpretive Social Research


1Introduction: Video Analyses in Interpretive Social Research

The introductory chapter sets the stage for the entire book. It briefly outlines the structure and organization of the book and presents the individual core themes contained in it. Videography, as we understand it, is a specific method. Step by step, we take you through the separate elements of the corresponding research activities. This part of the book contains references to the chapters that follow, in which we explain the details that make up the individual components of the action. The information is broken down into sections headed by a lift-out quote highlighting a key topic. After reading this introductory chapter, readers should know how and to what end we practice videography, and what specific features its methods include.

The object of sociology, as previously stated by Weber, is to understand and explain the meaning of social action (1978: 4ff.). His contemporary Simmel, in his approach to sociology, focuses on interactions (Simmel 1910). Today interaction is a common term, frequently linked with the concept of communication as a fundamental process in social life (Mead 1910). Around 100 years after these key thinkers, sociology and the social sciences now look back on a flourishing evolution of the groundwork laid for the discipline in their theories of action, interaction, and communication.

It is not only their theoretical constructs that have been refined and expanded, enabling us to combine action, interaction, and communication in the concept of communicative action.1 The...

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