Session 21

E2 How International is Interpretive Social Research?

Scholars in Europe mostly understand the so-called “Interpretive Paradigm” as a transatlantic project, in its very beginning geographically associated with the Chicago School, highly influenced by European thinking either took back to the US after absolving the regular year abroad in Europe (e.g. Mead) or brought in by migrants themselves (e.g. Znaniecki, Schutz). The movement spread out over various disciplines (sociology, social and cultural anthropology, political science, communication studies, education) as well as to interdisciplinary oriented gender studies, queer studies, science and technology studies, visual studies … From this narrow perspective the contributions towards the interpretive project from many regions in the world are inappropriate underestimated. Due to the venue of the conference, the session aims to shed light on the richness and vibrancy of interpretive methods in the social sciences (not only) in Asia. Additionally, papers are highly appreciated which try to give an overview of the global legacy of interpretive social research within qualitative methods. We expect this session to contribute to our overarching goal to demonstrate the diversity of what counts as “interpretive” methods and approaches today. By that we do not have a canonical list of concepts or ideas in mind. However, from our point of view interpretive research methods go beyond working with qualitative data in that they are clearly linked to epistemologies and theories of interpretation (which may, or may not, be embedded within social constructionism or symbolic interactionism).