Research Focus of Empirical Methods

Advanced Quantitative Methods

Several specialties apply complex statistical methods to sociological issues. Cross-sectional and longitudinal data are analyzed by various methods, including decomposition analysis, structural equation modeling, event history analysis and sequence analyses. Multilevel models allow the simultaneous consideration of characteristics pertaining to the micro-, meso- and macro-level.

Interpretative Methodologies and Methods

The interpretative paradigm is the basis for a number of research specializations at the Department. The objectives of these investigations are advancements in interpretative methodologies and methods. Thus, scientific work has been published on elaborating basic methodologies and organizing research projects with an interpretative orientation. Members of the Department are also engaged in further developing Grounded Theory, visual methodologies and methods, and biographical research.

Image, Film and Media Analysis

The Visual Sociology specialization is committed to devising specific methods to analyze still and moving images. With the support of computerized tools, film and media analyses combine hermeneutic procedures with longitudinal analyses. In terms of visual hermeneutics – and in divergent thematic research connections – visual segment analysis is applied to a variety of genres such as analogous and digital photography, posters, collages, paintings, film stills and fixed video images, etc. Participatory photo surveys, ethnographic films and other instruments have been developed as means for collecting data in manifold thematic research areas.