Current societal change processes, such as demographic transformation, global migration, and digitization, particularly affect the health care and education sector. New phenomena, practices, and research objects therefore require a critical review of previous research methods and designs that are concerned with this change. These include phenomena such as emancipatory movements of people with disabilities, post-colonial social movements, and related theory-plural and method-integrative research approaches. Correspondingly, these recent developments also pose new challenges for empirical social research. Theoretical-conceptual, as well as methodological-empirical approaches, have to be reviewed and, if necessary, to be developed further. Many of the current social sciences methodological and theoretical approaches are best suited to analyzing individual behavior. However, as methodological discussion in the last decade has shown, health and educational research also need process-orientated research, micro-macro-analysis, comparative research, or mixed methods designs.
During the session, these and other challenges specific to health and educational research processes are discussed using examples from empirical research. The following questions, among others, are addressed: how to determine the defining the population / field of analysis in health and educational research; how to use a process-oriented methodology able to grasp current social transformation; and how to combine qualitative and quantitative methods and different theoretical schools. In doing so, the session brings together perspectives from different cultural contexts to advance a cross-cultural discussion of methodological development in Health and Educational Studies.