Das Demoskopische Interview: Qualitatives und quantitatives Verfahren (German Edition)

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At last the most important ideas which I wanted to demonstrate through this term paper will be repeated very shortly as part of the conclusion. Today surveys play an important role in everyday life. All these numbers are the results of surveys. The most common fields in which surveys are used are political polls, surveys in court, government surveys, consumer research, academic research and media polls Weisberg et al.

The goal of a survey is to answer one or more specific questions. These questions can be divided into four broad classes of questions. The prevalence of attitudes, beliefs and behaviour, changes over time, differences between groups of people in their attitudes, beliefs and behaviour or causal propositions about these attitudes, beliefs and behaviour Weisberg et al.

We use a survey in order to see how many people have the opinion that the chancellor Angela Merkel has done a good job in her first hundred days in office an attitude , what percentage of the people thinks that the FDP would be a better partner for the CDU a belief and to see how many unemployed people were looking for a job during the first quarter a behaviour of Weisberg et al.

There are of course also other possible ways to make predictions in order to answer such questions, but most researchers believe that the best and easiest way to find out what people think is to ask them Weisberg et al. But if you ask the same question after the next hundred days of her work you can say whether her reputation is still the same or whether now more or less people consider her to be working well. Researchers are often interested in identifying the causes for different social behaviour, beliefs and attitudes.

If we would consider an article which says that sixty-five per cent of the Germans think of the Government as having good ideas concerning the foreign policy with Iran and compare these with the Iranian people living in Germany, the author would probably guess that people from Iran living here would have more interest in and knowledge of this relationship between the two countries and it is more likely that the Iranian people in Germany would probably criticise the German foreign-minister more than native Germans would.

The next step on the way to a good survey is the construction of the questionnaire.

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The question of how to create a good questionnaire is very important, because if the questions are not asked properly the results you get might be unusable. The first important thing to look at is the form of the question. Wuthnow described the emphasis on cultural coherence as an expression of psychological conditions or processes as the "subjective approach" to culture. Here I underscore not so much the contents, "ideas, moods, motivations and goals" 11 , as the bases on which those contents are organized. One example of this approach is the "culture and personality" school that dominated post-World War II cultural anthropology.

Its informing psychological perspective was the psychoanalytic.

The integration of any particular cultural system mythological or religious systems were commonly studied was generally traced to some special feature of childhood socialization, some. Malinowski's treatment of magic and, to a large extent, religion was psychologically—but not psychoanalytically—derived, for it treated beliefs and practices as addressing practical and existential uncertainties.

Qualitative Forschung - Methodologie und Auswertung qualitativer Interviews • derhytanale.cf

The same might be said for Weber's comparative treatment of world religions as, in part, different resolutions of the uncertainties and anxieties associated with the universal "problem of theodicy. The formulations of Geertz regard culture as simultaneously a product of and a guide to actors searching for organized categories and interpretations that provide a meaningful experiential link to their rounds of social life.

As such, culture is both a simplifying and an ordering device. In a similar formulation, Berger and Luckmann found both cultural and social order arising from the processes of typification and reification that extend from situations of action and interaction—situations that are, without ordering, so uncertain and ambiguous that they could not be tolerated. The result of these processes is a system of patterned values, meanings, and beliefs that give cognitive structure to the world, provide a basis for coordinating and controlling human interactions, and constitute a link as the system is transmitted from one generation to the next.

These formulations, like the psychoanalytic ones cited previously, are ultimately psychological, but rest more on cognitive, rather than motivational, bases. This emphasis is not unlike that just mentioned, but it contains elements of social-structural as well as cognitive consistency. An example is the phenomenon of the strain toward consistency among institutions and ideas in society, which is posited as a means of achieving cultural and social harmony among diverse and possibly contradic-.

Another example is found in Weber's notion of elective affinity , which is invoked to explain why certain groups for example, peasants and merchants are drawn to one or another religious belief. Finally, Parsons depicts ideology an ingredient of culture as a system of elaborated and rationalized statements including empirical assertions that attempt to make "compatible" those potential normative conflicts and discrepancies between expectations and reality that actors confront.

The logic by which such cultural integration is achieved is variable; it may rest on a general sense of appropriateness, on distortion in the interests of minimizing contradiction or conflict, or on some special stylistic motif Levine This line of analysis seeks to find consistency or coherence in logical or aesthetic tendencies in cultural organization. A prime example is the work of Sorokin, already mentioned, in which the first principles of the sensate mentality ramify and work themselves out in the realms of epistemology, philosophy, religion, the arts, and so on, and thus lend a consistent organization to sensate culture as a whole.

A second example is the formulations of Kroeber , who regarded cultural dynamics as involving first the selection of a few core cultural premises from the myriad of possibilities; second, the systematic differentiation, cultural specialization, cultural play, and elaboration of those premises; and, finally, the exhaustion and cultural decline of the premises. The sociology-of-science approach of Kuhn bears a close formal relation to that of Kroeber; his notion of a scientific paradigm is that of cultural first principles, wherein permutations and combinations are gradually elaborated and played out through the work of "normal science.

Weber's theory of cultural rationalization is another example; in his sociology of music, Weber b tells the story of the development of first principles such as musical scale, harmony, and sequence into elaborated styles baroque, Classical, and so on as expressions of the possibilities of the basic parameters.

This type of structuralism derived in part from the work of Durkheim [] and Durkheim and Mauss , who, however, tended to treat cultural categories as "projections" of social-structural realities. In a general formulation of this principle, Benedict asserted that all the cultures she identified were "permeated. In all these examples there does not appear to be any special basis for selecting the cultural first principles—though in some cases universal, existential features of the human condition are specified—but a logic of symbolic consistency governs the process by which cultural coherence develops.

These bases for coherence reviewed thus far all meld, but, viewed generally, they correspond to the tripartite specification of analytic levels depicted by Sorokin and Parsons and Shils among personality, society, and culture itself. The main intellectual roots of this tradition of cultural analysis are found in the work of Karl Marx. In The German Ideology , he and Engels expressed the classic version:. The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas: i. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it.

The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas; hence of the relationships which make the one class the ruling one, therefore, the ideas of its dominance , The twin themes of this formulation are cultural domination as such and, within that, the economic or class basis of domination. Examples of such domination, cited by Marxian analysts, are the imposition of salvationist religious ideas as soporific counters to workers' misery and the Malthusian theories of population and poverty as justifications for repressive poor laws Engels [].

The meaning and coher-. Much of the history of one tradition of cultural analysis can be read as a working out of themes and variations on the notion of culture as an instrument of domination. In fact, a certain line of theory on culture in the past decades is a variation on the theme of class domination.

This theoretical tradition is marked by efforts to retain the fundamental notion of domination or repression, but it rejects or alters other ingredients of the Marx-Engels formula, such as the idea of economic determination and the reduction of culture to material considerations. Without pretense of exhaustiveness, I close this section of the essay by noting some of the threads in this tradition. Gramsci's rejection of strict economic reductionism and assertion of the independence of superstructures, especially the political superstructure, is the most evident example.

His notion of hegemony, with a cultural component, retains the idea of domination, however, and thus could be regarded as he saw it as faithful to the Marxist tradition. The formulations of both Marcuse and Habermas , depart from the vision early capitalist of bourgeoisie cultural domination of the proletariat. For them both classes and class consciousness have become fragmented and diffused in late capitalism. For this phase Marcuse stressed a form of cultural domination through which the ruling classes imposed a false consciousness of consumerism on the masses, especially by employing technology and the media.

The formulations of Althusser , , while also critical of the determinative structure-superstructure relation, nevertheless retained the idea of a dominant class that reproduces itself, in large part through the control of ideology and culture. His concept of the ideological state apparatus as an instrument of reproducing the relations of production indicates the central role of culture in his formulations.

Williams treated the idea of culture in transitional societies as "the product of the old leisured classes who seek now to defend it against new and destructive forces" Despite these qualifications and reformulations, Abercrombie, Hill, and Turner argue that a. A second thread of culture-as-domination is found in analyses of the media as culture industry. The notion was developed in the early work of critical theory, especially in Adorno , Horkheimer and Adorno , and Lowenthal , as one strand of the British school of "cultural studies" see Featherstone in chapter 10 and Hall , and in American studies on the media and advertising for example, Gitlin ; Schudson ; Tuchman , In this tradition, culture itself is regarded as an economic institution, with the processes of production, distribution, and consumption treated as a market, political, and class phenomenon.

Two figures in contemporary French sociology also retain the thread of domination in their sociologies of culture. Foucault's essays on punishment and sexuality are clearly studies of cultural domination, although he is vague about the precise agencies or apparatus that exercise power and thus moves away from more specific theories of domination such as those of Marx or Habermas and concentrates, rather, on the mechanisms and processes by which surveillance, discipline, and cultural repression are carried out.

Bourdieu also takes the notion of hierarchy, class, and domination as his point of intellectual departure. He focuses, however, on how individuals and classes accumulate the "cultural capital"—language, education, cultivation, and so on—that constitutes a central mechanism in the reproduction of inequality and domination. This cultural capital is generated particularly in the educational system Bourdieu The complex processes of socialization generate, for each relevant class in society, a distinctive habitus , or cultural outlook, that serves to shape their knowledge, aspirations, and attitudes toward society and their place in it In the recent history of writings on culture, the various threads of culture-as-domination have been central.

Interestingly, recent developments in this tradition have tended to diminish cultural content —and by direct implication, the degree of cultural coherence or incoherence—and to concentrate, instead, on processes and mechanisms by which culture is generated and used. In their review of the strands of analysis in the "dominant ideology thesis," for example, Abercrombie, Hill, and.

Turner observe that "the precise content of [a dominant ideology] is not always carefully specified" , Similarly, for Bourdieu, the specific contents of a given habitus are less important than its significance and use as cultural capital in the domination process. In a recent study influenced by both Goffman and Foucault, de Certeau showed little interest in the content of culture but concentrated on the strategies and tactics of using, making , and consuming culture.

Kertzer's study of ritual and symbolism in politics likewise concentrates on use rather than content:. How political ritual works; how ritual helps build political organizations; how ritual is employed to create political legitimacy; how ritual helps create political solidarity in the absence of political consensus; and how ritual molds people's understandings of the political universe. Other recent formulations not associated with the culture-as-domination tradition also focus on the use and deployment of culture rather than on its content.

For example, Swidler develops a notion of culture as a reservoir, or a tool kit of values, ideas, beliefs, symbols, and arguments, to be activated selectively according to the different interests of actors and according to different situations. Such a formulation virtually defies characterization according to specific content and even suggests that too much coherence of culture would likely constitute a liability from a strategic point of view.

As a conclusion to this selective survey, I would propose that the historical preoccupation with the degree of coherence and incoherence of culture has diminished as the motifs of domination, strategy, usage, politics, and practice have infused social-scientific thinking about culture.

The historical array of divergent opinions on cultural coherence and consensus should not conceal a certain thread of commonality that characterizes that array. Throughout, culture is treated as an object of study and its coherence or incoherence can be established empirically. The philosophical and methodological origins of this ten-. This positivistic view carries with it the notion that culture, as an object, has distinctive characteristics that can be described, and a major task of the ethnographer is to describe them.

Among those characteristics is the degree of coherence, integration, unity, structure, or system—whatever term is preferred—that a given culture, or culture in general, manifests.

The question of coherence thus becomes a matter of empirical determination. Even the conclusion that culture is a thing of shreds and patches—that is, lacks coherence—is a descriptive empirical statement.


This view of cultural coherence, however, ignores the fact that cultural unity or disunity is in large part a function of the vocabulary and the theoretical presuppositions of the investigator. Much of what is thought to be empirical coherence or incoherence is, in fact, endowed or assigned. The conceptual framework of the investigator is thus a crucial "variable" in determining the degree and kind of coherence presented, and, as a result, these will vary with the framework employed.

To acknowledge that, moreover, is to change the theoretical and methodological agenda for approaching the issues of cultural coherence and incoherence. The phenomenon of "interpreter effect" can be appreciated vividly by considering a different but related subject: human dreams. Before the late nineteenth century the dominant explanations of dreams regarded them as the bizarre mental work of the night, gave them credence by referring to some supernatural or divine intervention, or dismissed them as some kind of distorted precipitate from the more conscious and rational psychic experiences of daily life Freud [], 1—6.

In all these explanations dreams certainly had meanings, but they were not thought to be very organized coherent productions.