DOCUMENTARY METHOD OF
The term 'documentary method of interpretation' was used
by Karl Mannheim and Alfred Schutz, but its current meaning derives from Harold Garfinkel,
the founder of ethnomethodology. Harold Garfinkel
asserts that documentary method is a method which lay persons and sociologists alike use in commonsense
reasoning about the world.
Documentary method of interpretation consists of treating
an actual appearance as the document of a presupposed underlying pattern. The child's
choice of toys, like for example, a boy choosing a truck or a girl choosing a doll, is
seen as an indication of an underlying pattern of biological preferences, or for the
sociologists, of gender socialization.
People employ a documentary method of interpretation, by
treating actual appearances as the document of, as pointing to, as standing on behalf of a
presupposed underlying pattern and tap into this stream of agency through
experimental interactivity. This seeming paradox is quite familiar to hermeneuticians who
understand this phenomenon as a version of the hemeneutic circle. This phenomenon is also
subject to analysis from the phenomenological
theory of perception.
Documentary method of interpretation.
The Documentary Method is the method of understanding utilized by everyone engaged in
trying to make sense of their social world. These "documents" serve to
constitute the underlying pattern, but are themselves interpreted on the basis of what is
already known about that underlying pattern.
The Interpretation of Pictures and the
Documentary Method - Ralf Bohnsack
The documentary method, based on Karl MANNHEIM's Sociology
of Knowledge, opens up methodical access to pictures. Methodologies from art history
can thus become relevant for empirical research in social sciences. Thus verbal contextual
and pre-knowledge can be controlled methodically in the documentary interpretation of
Ideology and Reality Work. On the Analysis of Power and
Dominance on Ethnomethodological Grounds
The general aim is to attempt to demonstrate how ethnomethodologically inspired analyses
can be combined with more traditional analyses of "ideology",
"traditional" in the sense of analyses which take the natural attitude as
unproblematically given. This work is carried out in normal, everyday situations with the
natural attitude as unproblematically given and with the help of the "documentary
method of interpretation". Of interest is thus the question of the ideological
potential of the documentary method of interpretation when it is used with the natural
attitude as unproblematically given.
Documentary Interpretation of Narrative Interviews - Arnd-Michael Nohl
The Narrative Interview (developed by Fritz Schuetze) and the Documentary Method of
Interpretation (by Ralf Bohnsack) are two of the major methods of qualitative-empirical
research on education. In this contribution I discuss why and how Narrative Interviews can
be interpreted with the Documentary Method. While the Documentary Interpretation of
Narrative Interviews draws back on elements of the Narration-Structure Analysis, it
emphasizes comparative analysis and development of types.
Working with images in daily life and police
practice: an assessment of the documentary tradition - Mike Ball, Staffordshire
University, Qualitative Research, Vol. 5, No. 4, (2005)
There is a growing body of literature within the humanities and social sciences that is
directly critical of the documentary traditions treatment and use of still and
moving images as realistic data. The documentary tradition claims that it is possible to
visually document social scenes with cameras. As instruments, cameras are open to a
variety of uses ranging from the scientific to the artistic in orientation. Following
Garfinkel, this article suggests that the documentary method of sense making is employed
in numerous practical situations. This article commences with an overview of the
documentary tradition and then offers a brief case study of certain of these principles in
operation within the practical work of the police and road users on public highways.
Within police work that involves the regulation and management of traffic flows, stored
images of vehicles can serve as documentary evidence of traffic violations.