Simplify, highlight & organize

Models, by definition, are meant to simplify, highlight, suggest, and organize. But in doing so, they can exert a powerful guiding effect in determining how questions are posed and defining the relationships singled out for investigation. 

Reese, S.D. (2007) Journalism Research and the Hierarchy of Influences Model: A Global Perspective. University of Texas, USA


„Die Komponenten eines Lebenslaufs bestehen aus Wendepunkten, an denen etwas geschehen ist, was nicht hätte geschehen müssen. Das beginnt mit der Geburt.“

Luhmann, Niklas (2001): Short City, Short City 1 hg. von Peter Gente, Heidi Paris und Martin Weinmann. 3. Auflage. Frankfurt a. M.

Theoretical concepts and conceptions

Thus it seems natural to think of the concept of justice as distinct from the various conceptions of justice and as being specified by the role which these different sets of principles, these different conceptions, have in common. Those who hold different conceptions of justice can, then, still agree that institutions are just when no arbitrary distinctions are made between persons in the assigning of basic rights and duties and when the rules determine a proper balance between competing claims to the advantages of social life.

Rawls, J. (1999). A theory of justice (Revised ed.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

as quoted in:

Jensen, K. B. (2013). Definitive and Sensitizing Conceptualizations of Mediatization. Communication Theory, 23, 203–222

About concepts

In my judgment the appropriate line of probing is with regard to the concept. Theory is of value in empirical science only to the extent to which it connects fruitfully with the empirical world. Concepts are the means, and the only means of establishing such connection, for it is the concept that points to the empirical instances about which a theoretical proposal is made. (p. 4)

The clarification of concepts does not come from piling up mountains of research findings. As just one illustration I would point to the hundreds of studies of attitudes and the thousands of items they have yielded; these thousands of items of finding have not contributed one iota of clarification to the concept of attitudes. (p. 5-6)

Herbert Blumer. „What is Wrong with Social Theory.“ American Sociological Review 18 (1954): 3-10

…begin to understand your research…

Once researchers begin to understand their questions and studies within a levels-of-analysis framework, it becomes easier to compare them to other research, see connections among different levels, and generally begin a much more systematic approach to a diverse area of the field.


Phänomene der Zwischenlagerung

Jugend ist ebenso ein Phänomen der Zwischenlagerung im Hinblick auf die in der Adoleszenzphase stattfindende Kompetenzentwicklung und die Lösung aus der Herkunftsfamilie (Erikson, Piaget, Habermas), und sie ist dies auch in generationsspezifischer Hinsicht: Sie ist der soziale Ort der (kollektiven) Verarbeitung des Erfahrungsumbruchs von einer Generation zur anderen (vgl. dazu vor allem Mannheim 1964b).

Bohnsack, R. (2005). „Social Worlds“ und „Natural Histories“. Zum Forschungsstil der Chicagoer Schule anhand zweier klassischer Studien. ZBBS, 6 (1), S.112

History rewritten

„As Goethe contended, history is continually rewritten, not so much because of the discovery of new documentary evidence, but because the changing perspectives of historians lead to new selections from the data.“ 

Shibutani, T. (1955). Reference Groups as Perspectives. American Journals of Sociology, 60. pp. 522-529

Tamo i nazad… | Hin und zurück… | There and back again…

Započeti istraživački projekat o uticaju novih medija na bilo koju intersubjektivnu – odnosno interaktivnu – oblast života, te u skladu sa tom odlukom napustiti facebook – u nadi da ćeš biti produktivniji – je jedna od glupljih odluka koje sam u životu doneo. Ista se, otprilike, može uporediti sa odlukom da naučiš pisanje, a potom sebi odsečeš obe ruke da ne bi pipkao druge stvari dok vežbaš pisanje. Da se razumemo, uz dodatni trud se pisanje nogama može naučiti, ali će to definitivno uticati na efikasnost.

Um an einem Forschungsprojekt über den Einfluss neuer Medien auf ein x-beliebiges, intersubjektives – und dementsprechend interaktives – Feld des Alltagslebens, zu arbeiten, und dann anschließend Facebook zu verlassen – mit dem Gedanken im Hintergrund, produktiver zu sein – ist eine der dümmsten Entscheidungen meines Lebens. Sie lässt sich ungefähr mit der Entscheidung vergleichen, Schreibenlernen zu wollen, sich jedoch im Voraus beide Händen abzuhacken, um andere Dinge – während des Übens – nicht anfassen zu können. Ich bin mir sicher, dass man auch mit Beinen schreiben kann, jedoch ist die Auswirkung auf die Effektivität viel zu groß.

To start a research project on influence of new media on any intersubjective – and respectively interactive – field of day-to-day life, and to subsequently leave facebook – with idea to get more productive – is one of the silliest decisions I met so far. It could be compared with a decision to start learning how to write but then to cut both hands off in order to stop touching other things, while writig. I know that with some extra effort a person can learn to write with legs, however it will definitely influence the efficiency.


„Technology is virtually never ‘inherently’ a panacea ensuring a utopian future and technology is virtually never ‘inherently’ a cancerous growth destroying all cultural traditions in its path. Nonetheless, with creativity, thoughtfulness and vigilance, communication technologies can often accentuate and recreate constructive cultural patterns, values and institutions.“ 

Charles Soukup, (2006) Computer-mediated communication as a virtual third place: building Oldenburg’s great good places on the world wide web. New Media & Society 2006 8: 421