Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Hermeneutics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Hermeneutics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy):


First published Wed Nov 9, 2005

The term hermeneutics covers both the first order art and the second order theory of understanding and interpretation of linguistic and non-linguistic expressions. As a theory of interpretation, the hermeneutic tradition stretches all the way back to ancient Greek philosophy. In the course of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, hermeneutics emerges as a crucial branch of Biblical studies. Later on, it comes to include the study of ancient and classic cultures.

With the emergence of German romanticism and idealism the status of hermeneutics changes. Hermeneutics turns philosophical. It is no longer conceived as a methodological or didactic aid for other disciplines, but turns to the conditions of possibility for symbolic communication as such. The question “How to read?” is replaced by the question, “How do we communicate at all?” Without such a shift, initiated by Friedrich Schleiermacher, Wilhelm Dilthey, and others, it is impossible to envisage the ontological turn in hermeneutics that, in the mid-1920s, was triggered by Martin Heidegger's Sein und Zeit and carried on by his student Hans-Georg Gadamer. Now hermeneutics is not only about symbolic communication. Its area is even more fundamental: that of human life and existence as such. It is in this form, as an interrogation into the deepest conditions for symbolic interaction and culture in general, that hermeneutics has provided the critical horizon for many of the most intriguing discussions of contemporary philosophy, both within an Anglo-American context (Rorty, McDowell, Davidson) and within a more Continental discourse (Habermas, Apel, Ricoeur, and Derrida).

Introduction to Hermeneutics by F.P.A. Demeterio III

Introduction to Hermeneutics by F.P.A. Demeterio III


F.P.A. Demeterio III


Hermeneutics is derived from the Greek word ermhneuein (hermeneuein), meaning to interpret, and its derivative ermhneia (hermeneia) meaning interpretation. It has a linguistic relationship with Hermes, the swift footed messenger of the Olympian gods, who necessarily had to master the language of the gods, understand and interpret what these immortal beings have in mind, and translate and articulate their intention to the mortal beings. The main reason why hermeneutics seemed to be a very complicated idea is that it has indeed become complex due to the inter-twining of its multiple layers of meanings and concerns. The first step, therefore, in understanding it is to untangle its multiple layers. In its barest sense, hermeneutics can be understood as a theory, methodology and praxis of interpretation that is geared towards the recapturing of meaning of a text, or a text-analogue, that is temporally or culturally distant, or obscured by ideology and false consciousness. Hermeneutics presupposes that texts and text-analogues that are distant in time and culture, or that are blanketed by ideology and false consciousness, would necessarily appear chaotic, incomplete, contradictory and distorted, and that they need to be systematically interpreted to unveil their underlying coherence or sense. As this working definition suggests, hermeneutics has three different layers of meanings and concerns: namely, 1) theory, which is concerned about the epistemological validity and possibility of interpretation; 2) methodology, which is concerned about the formulation of reliable systems of interpretation; and 3) praxis, which is concerned about the actual process of interpreting specific texts.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Student Researcher's Toolkit

weblinksWebsite links:

For help with...

  • Designing a research project (Social Research Updates - various articles) (The Web Center for Social Research Methods)

  • Quantitative vs. qualitative research strategies (interesting article by Ian Jones, comparing the two approaches)

Managing your supervisor!edcbbbj (UK Grad School. This page is designed for supervisors, but is useful in clarifying what the role of your supervisor is, and your respective responsibilities.)

  • Epistemological and ontological questions (a useful article summarising what these concepts mean and how they can be applied to the design of social research into 'experiential education').

  • Conducting a literature review (Web of Knowledge - access to various databases)

  • Systematic reviews (an excellent descriptive summary of what a systematic review [or meta-analysis] is, with examples of how the method is used in medical research. This article was written by Trisha Greenhaigh for the British Medical Journal.) (a really user-friendly website written by a specialist Systematic Review study group at Tehran University of Medical Sciences. It includes a summary of the method, practical guidelines and a critical discussion.)

  • Sampling techniques (part of Bill Trochim's Research Methods Knowledge Base, in the Web Center for Social Research Methods)

  • Negotiating access to 'difficult to reach' populations (scroll down to article 33, Accessing Hidden and Hard-to-Reach Populations: Snowball Research Strategies <> and click on this link, which brings up an article by Rowland Atkinson and John Flint) (article by Sarah Goode on how to access 'hard to reach' populations)

  • Designing a survey or questionnaire (Question Bank - University of Surrey) (by Alison Galloway - part of the Tardis Project at the University of Edinburgh) (Centre for Applied Social Surveys - University of Southampton)

  • Conducting in-depth interviews (article by Peter Collins about the 'negotiation of selves' in unstructured interviewing) (article by Nirmal Puwar about the experience of interviewing women MPs, in relation to feminist theories of interviewing) (article by Jeni Harden et al about the practical and ethical implications of interviewing children)

  • Finding official statistics / secondary data (UK Data Archive) (National Statistics Online [UK])

  • Content analysis of mass media texts (excellent site written by Matthias Romppel) (useful article by Phillip Mayring)

  • Running a focus group (useful article by Anita Gibbs)

  • Doing Internet-based research (Electronic Journal on Virtual Culture) (Journal of Online Behavior)

  • Language in qualitative research (excellent guide to Conversation Analysis - by Charles Antaki) (Discourse Analysis Online journal)

  • Feminist methodology (helpful overview by ESDS - Economic and Social Data Services) (insightful article about interviewing women MPs, by Nirmal Puwar)

  • Quantitative data analysis (helpful Statistics Glossary - by Valerie Easton and John McColl)

  • SPSS (official website for SPSS version 16) (guide/tutorial for using SPSS, written by Harvard University academics)

  • Qualitative data analysis (Introduction to grounded theory - by Steve Borgatti) (CAQDAS Networking Project - University of Surrey)

  • NVivo (official website for NVivo version 7) (guide/tutorial for using NVivo 7, by Lynn Richards)

  • Ethical guidelines (BSA code of ethics. Also available from this page of the main BSA website: ) (Lancaster University Ethics Committee - packed with helpful information) (Ethical issues in Internet-based research - by Jim Thomas)

  • Avoiding sexist, racist and disablist language (BSA guidelines)

Available from this page of the BSA website:

  • Time management!elkimeL (UK Grad School)

  • Writing up your research report (Writing a research paper - by Michael Kearl)

  • Referencing (online tutorial from the University of Sussex. Contains details of the Harvard, numeric and Vancouver systems of referencing.) (more specific advice on using the Harvard system, including guidelines on how to reference websites and other electronic resources.) (another useful overview, with examples, from the University of Manchester.)

There is no Zygmunt Bauman - He does not exist

There is no Zygmunt Bauman - He does not exist


There is no Zygmunt Bauman, he does not exist. A Bauman Verdamn-Schrift


When the kids had killed the man,
I had to break up the band.
David Bowie Ziggy Stardust

No area of either academic life or popular culture is untouched by the influence of postmodern ideas and yet at the same time there is confusion as to the nature of postmodernism. What is it? For many people, Zygmunt Bauman is the person who has provided the most effective response to this question. Taking my starting point with Baumans postmodern ethics, the opinion developed in this paper is rather different. In other words, Bauman speaks from a moral position that he cannot acknowledge.

In Alone Again: Ethics After Certainty (1994) Bauman opens his discussion by contrasting the views and life experience of Leon Shestov who believed that: In each of our neighbours we fear a wolf (Bauman 1994 page 1) with Knud Logstrup who believed that: It is a characteristic of human life that we mutually trust each other... (Bauman 1994 page 1). Bauman accounts for the difference in views between the two philosophers by comparing their very different life experiences in two very different societies. As Bauman explains: Their generalizations contradicted each other, but so did the lives they generalized from. And this seems to apply to all of us. (Bauman 1994 page 2)

This comment, on the surface, is a rather obvious statement; however, it contains within it Baumans notion of the social (first developed in his PhD. thesis) and an inclination of how the social operates on the individual human agent.

From this point Bauman goes on to outline his theory of morality:

.. morality means being-for (not merely being-aside or even being-with) the Other. To take a moral stance means to assume responsibility for the Other; to act on the assumption that the well-being of the Other is a precious thing calling for my effort to preserve and enhance it, that whatever I do or do not do affects it, and that if I have not done it, it might not have been done at all, and that even if others do or can do it this does not cancel my responsibility for doing it myself... And this being-for is unconditional. (Bauman 1994 pages 18 - 19).

These ideas are more fully developed in his text Life in Fragments (1995) in which Bauman repeats the above comment:

We are, so to speak, ineluctably - existentially -moral beings: that is, we are faced with the challenge of the Other, which is the challenge of responsibility for the Other, a condition of being-for. (Bauman 1995 page 1)

The difference between being - with and beings - for the Other is about the level of commitment that we have for the Other, about having an emotional engagement with the Other. This involves regarding the Other not as a type or a category but as a unique person. This involves:

· Rejecting indifference towards the Other
rejecting stereotyped certainty towards the Other
viewing the Other in a fashion that is free from sentiment.

It is in relation to the Other that we make our choice between good and evil. Moreover, as Bauman clearly explains being-for the Other is in the last analysis a power relationship because it involves being responsible for the Other:

I am responsible for defining the needs of the Other, for what is good, and what is evil for the Other. If I love her and thus desire her happiness, it is my responsibility to decide what would make her truly happy. If I admire her and wish her perfection, it is my responsibility to decide what her perfect form would be like. If I respect her and want to preserve and enhance her freedom, it is again my responsibility to spell out what her genuine autonomy would consist of. (Bauman 1995 page 65)

Baumans work on morality is yet another illustration of the agency - structure debate which is thoroughly modern in nature, and which has dominated sociological theorising throughout the twentieth century. What Bauman is doing has a great deal in common with the approach of Durkheim and Giddens, in that Bauman attempts to locate and describe the relationship between the external relations in the world (the structure, or the social) and the internal condition of the person (the nature of agency). Far from being a postmodernist, this represents a thoroughly modern set of problems and solutions. Bauman claims to have found a natural moral faculty within the human being. But how are such moral judgements possible? The answer is by our human faculty - our human agency. The problem with the natural moral faculty is that when the agent is faced with the dilemma of it wishes but I wish it is agency that exercises choice. Moreover, it is questionable if nature has any morality. It is when Bauman talks about the source of morality that his convictions appear on the scene. Bauman attempts to give morality a basis, but morality itself is regarded as something universal and given. Morality is treated as that which has always been, which justifies the actions of a person in the eyes of the other. Suffering is something that must be done away with. What is the aim of Baumans conception of morality? To shame the person into obedience? To believe in our own virtue? To discover our conscience? To find our soul? At the same time Bauman attempts to cast the postmodern self as the wicked but happy other As we shall see in our discussion of Baumans postmodern ethics, for Bauman morality is a mode of biological fact. In the last analysis, Bauman provides what he calls a natural and hence, beyond critique or emancipation, discussion of what causes us to desire our own domination.

One of the many problems with Baumans theory of morality is that what is fair to one may not be fair to another. There is always the risk that morality can be little more than an apology for cruelty. Whenever a person raises the issue of morality, they have the other in mind and the idea in their head of the other behaving in a way that is unacceptable. The appeal to morality allow one to impose ones will on the other with justification. In this sense Bauman is no different from the Nazis he so fully condemns in Modernity and the Holocaust (1989)

What ever postmodernism is about, it is about saying goodbye to morality and about losing the ability to be appalled by acts of cruelty. In contrast, Baumans postmodern ethics is about providing a justification for action against the behaviour of others. We do not like the behaviour of the other; it breaks out moral code, take action. To act is to impose our will on the other and this may involve acting in a way which makes use of the methods that cruel people use. Moral codes not only harbour their own kind of purity they necessarily provide justifications for cruelty.

The Creation of a Postmodernist.

In his contribution to the Theory, Culture & Society Festschift of Baumans work, Stefan Morawski commented:

Saturday, 27 December 2008

SLSP5111M - Leeds University Library

SLSP5111M - Leeds University Library:

Qualitative Research Methods, 2008-2009, Semester 2
Prof Anne Kerr

Qualitative and Quantitative Research: Conjunctions and Divergences

Qualitative and Quantitative Research: Conjunctions and Divergences:

Qualitative and Quantitative Research: Conjunctions and Divergences

Vol 2, No 1 (2001)

Edited by Margrit Schreier & Nigel Fielding

Thematic Issue

Introduction: On the Compatibility between Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods Abstract HTML PDF
Nigel Fielding, Margrit Schreier

The Logic of Relating Qualitative and Quantitative Method

Sociological Explanations between Micro and Macro and the Integration of Qualitative and Quantitative Methods Abstract HTML PDF
Udo Kelle
Combination and Integration of Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis Abstract
Philipp Mayring
Constructivist Realism: An Ontology That Encompasses Positivist and Constructivist Approaches to the Social Sciences Abstract HTML PDF
Gerald Cupchik
Strategies in Qualitative and Quantitative Research Abstract
Harald Witt
It's Logic in Practice, My Dear Watson: An Imaginary Memoir from Beyond the Grave Abstract HTML PDF
Gary Shank
Imitation Games and Political Discourse Abstract HTML PDF
Francisco Gutierrez Sanin
Processing Raw Data both the Qualitative and Quantitative Way Abstract HTML PDF
Dietmar Janetzko

Different Approaches for Inter-Relating Qualitative and Quantitative Method

Seeing Our Quantitative Counterparts: Construction of Qualitative Research in a Roundtable Discussion Abstract HTML PDF
Jean A. Saludadez, Primo G. Garcia
The Quantitative/Qualitative Debate and Feminist Research: A Subjective View of Objectivity Abstract HTML PDF
Nicole Westmarland
The Logographic Analysis of Social Processual Texts Abstract
Annette Schmitt, Ulrich Mees, Uwe Laucken
Numerically Aided Phenomenology: Procedures for Investigating Categories of Experience Abstract HTML PDF
Don Kuiken, David S. Miall
Discovery as Basic Methodology of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Abstract HTML PDF
Gerhard Kleining, Harald Witt
Best Practices: Rituals and Rhetorical Strategies in the "Initial Telephone Contact Abstract HTML PDF
Giampietro Gobo

Innovative Applications of Methodological Inter-Relation

How Do You Find Out What Really Matters for Public Acceptance—The Case of Swine Production Sites in Rural Communities Abstract HTML PDF
Stefan Mann
Understanding Online Communities Through Multiple Methodologies Combined Under a Postmodern Research Endeavour Abstract HTML PDF
Natilene Irain Bowker
On the Triangulation of Quantitative and Qualitative Data in Typological Social Research: Reflections on a Typology of Conceptualizing "Uncertainty" in the Context of Employment Biographies Abstract
Alexander Jakob

Single Contributions

Transforming Suppression—Process in Our Participatory Action Research Practice Abstract HTML PDF
Susan Goff
Undertaking Sensitive Research: Issues and Strategies for Meeting the Safety Needs of All Participants Abstract HTML PDF
Heather McCosker, Alan Barnard, Rod Gerber

FQS Reviews

Review: Chris Mann & Fiona Stewart (2000). Internet Communication and Qualitative Research: A Handbook for Researching Online Abstract HTML PDF
Morag A. Gray
Review: Uwe Flick, Ernst von Kardorff & Ines Steinke (Eds.) (2000). Qualitative Forschung. Ein Handbuch [Qualitative Research: A Primer] Abstract
Rudolf Schmitt
Review Essay: Glory to the Fools: Ambiguities in Development through Play within Games Abstract HTML PDF
Jaan Valsiner

Professor Alan Bryman

Professor Alan Bryman:

Academic Staff

Professor Alan Bryman

Professor Alan Bryman

Head of School and Professor of Organisational and Social Research

Telephone: +44 (0) 116 252 2790
Fax: +44 (0) 116 252 5515

Office: Room 308, Ken Edwards Building

Brief Biography

I joined the School of Management in August 2005 after working for 31 years in the Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University. I currently teach Qualitative Management Research on the PhD programme and have been Head of School since January 2008.

Research Interests

My main areas of research lie in the following areas:

  • Combining quantitative and qualitative research. For a long time, I've been interested in methodological issues and in 2003-4, I was funded as a fellow to work on the issue of how quantitative and qualitative research are combined in the social sciences. The fellowship was part of the Economic and Social Research Council's Research Methods Programme.
  • Disneyization and McDonaldization. I'm interested in different aspects of modern consumer culture and their implications for organizational issues. I'm particularly interested in the impact that the principles associated with Disney theme parks are influencing how services and products are made available for consumption. I explored these issues in a book, The Disneyization of Society (Sage, 2004), which has been translated into Chinese, Portuguese, and Japanese.
  • Effective leadership in higher education. I've been interested in leadership for many years and in fact have written two books on this topic: Leadership and Organizations (Routledge, 1986) and Charisma and Leadership in Organizations (Sage, 1992). In 2005/06, I worked full-time on a review of the literature on leadership in universities. This was funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.

Selected Recent and Forthcoming Publications

2008 and in press

Bryman, A. 'Of methods and methodology', Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, 3, 2008, pp. 159-68.

Bryman, A. Social Research Methods third edition (Oxford University Press, 2008). See:
For the Online Resource Centre:

Bryman, A. and Cramer, D., Quantitative Data Analysis with SPSS 14, 15 and 16: A Guide for Social Scientists (Routledge, 2008).

Buchanan, D. and Bryman, A. (eds) Sage Handbook of Organizational Research Methods (Sage, 2009, in press).

Bryman, A. 'The end of the paradigm wars?', in P. Alasuutari, J. Brannen and L. Bickman (eds) Handbook of Social Research, (Sage, 2008), pp. 13-25.

Bryman, A. 'Why do researchers integrate/combine/mesh/blend/mix/merge/fuse quantitative and qualitative research?', in M. Bergman (ed.), Advances in Mixed Methods Research, (Sage, 2008) pp. 87-100.

Bryman, A. 'Leadership in higher education', in K.T. James and J. Collins (eds), Leadership Perspectives: Knowledge into Action, (Palgrave, 2008) pp. 126-39.


Bryman, A., Becker, S., and Sempik, J., 'Quality criteria for quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research', International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 11, 2007, pp.261-76.

Bryman, A. and Bell, E., Business Research Methods revised edition (Oxford University Press, 2007)
For the Online Resource Centre:

Bryman, A., 'Barriers to integrating quantitative and qualitative research', Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1, 2007, pp. 1-18.

Bryman, A., 'The research question in social research: what is its role?', International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 10, 2007, pp. 5-20.

Bell, E. and Bryman, A., 'The ethics of management research: an exploratory content analysis', British Journal of Management, 18, 2007, pp. 63-77.

Buchanan, D. and Bryman, A., 'Contextualizing methods choice in organizational research', Organizational Research Methods, 10, 2007, pp. 483-501.

Angell, E., Jackson, C., Ashcroft, R., Bryman, A., Windridge, K., and Dixon-Woods, M. 'Is "inconsistency" in Research Ethics Committee decision-making really a problem? An empirical investigation and reflection', Clinical Ethics, 2, 2007, pp. 92-9.

Bryman, A., 'Effective leadership in higher education', Studies in Higher Education, 32, 2007, pp. 693-710.

Sempik, J., Becker, S. and Bryman, A., 'The quality of research evidence in social policy: Consensus and dissension among researchers', Evidence and Practice, 3, 2007, pp. 407-23.

Dixon-Woods, M., Angell, E., Ashcroft, R. and Bryman, A. 'Written work: the social functions of Research Ethics Committee letters', Social Science and Medicine, 65, 2007, pp. 792-802.

Angell, E., Bryman, A., Ashcroft, R., and Dixon-Woods, M., 'Never mind the scientific quality, feel the ethics?: an analysis of decision letters by Research Ethics Committees and a reflection', Quality and Safety in Health Care, 17, 2007, pp. 131-6.

Bryman, A. entries on 'Disneyization' and 'Technological determinism' in G. Ritzer (ed.), Encyclopedia of Sociology (Blackwell, 2007).


Bryman, A. 'Integrating quantitative and qualitative research: how is it done?', Qualitative Research, 6, 2006, pp. 97-113.

Bryman, A. 'Paradigm peace and the implications for quality', International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 9, 2006, pp. 111-26.

Bryman, A. and Cassell, C. 'The researcher interview: A reflexive perspective', Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: an international journal, 1, 2006, pp. 41-55.

Bryman, A. and Beardsworth, A. 'Is Qualitative Research Becoming McDonaldized?', Methodological Innovations Online [Online], 1(1), 2006. Available:

Bryman, A. (ed.), Mixed Methods (Sage, 2006). This is a four-volume set.

Parry, K.W. and Bryman, A. 'Leadership in organizations', in S. Clegg, C. Hardy, T. Lawrence and W. Nord (eds), Sage Handbook of Organization Studies (Sage, 2006).


Bryman, A. and Cramer, D. Quantitative Data Analysis with SPSS 12 and 13: A Guide for Social Scientists (Routledge, 2005).

Bryman, A. and Teevan, J. Social Research Methods. Canadian Edition (Oxford University Press, 2005) [ Find out more... ]

Greasley, K., Bryman, A., Dainty, ARJ., Price, ADF., Soetanto, R. and King, N. 'Employee perceptions of empowerment', Employee Relations , 27, 2005, pp. 354-68.

Dainty, ARJ., Bryman, A., Price, ADF., Greasley, K., Soentanto, R. and King, N. 'Project affinity: the role of emotional attachment in construction projects,' Construction Management and Economics , 23, pp. 241-244.


Lewis-Beck, M. Bryman, A and Liao, TF (eds), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods (Sage, 2004) [ Find out more... ]

Hardy, M. and Bryman, A. (eds), Handbook of Data Analysis (Sage, 2004) [ Find out more... ]

Bryman, A. Social Research Methods , Revised edition (Oxford University Press, 2004). [ Find out more... ]

Bryman, A. The Disneyization of Society (Sage, 2004). [ Find out more... ]

Becker, S. and Bryman, A. (eds), Understanding Research for Social Policy and Practice (Policy Press, 2004).

Entries on 'McDonaldization' and 'Disneyization' in G. Ritzer (ed.), Sage Encyclopedia of Social Theory (Sage, 2004).

Beardsworth, A and Bryman, A. 'Meat consumption and meat avoidance among young people - an eleven year longitudinal study', British Food Journal , vol. 106, 2004, pp. 313-27.

Bryman, 'Qualitative research on leadership: a critical but sympathetic review', Leadership Quarterly , 15, 2004, pp. 729-69.


I edit a series of books entitled Understanding Social Research for Open University Press. In addition, I'm on the editorial board of the following journals: Leadership; The Leadership Quarterly; Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal; and Journal of Mixed-Methods Research.

OUP: UK General Catalogue

OUP: UK General Catalogue: NEW EDITION

Social Research Methods

Third Edition

Alan Bryman

Price: £29.99 (paper)
ISBN-13: 978-0-19-920295-9
Publication date: 6 March 2008
800 pages, 246x189 mm

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