Category TV-Reportage: “Tatort Internet”

Title: Crime Scene Internet
Head of project management: Prof. Dr. J. Reichertz
Co-worker: Stefanie Lenze
University of Duisburg-Essen

Category TV-Reportage: “Tatort Internet” Category TV-Reportage: “Tatort Internet”


been recorded. All these recordings deal somehow or other with inner security. These videos then have been interpreted with the method of the hermeneutical Sociology of Knowledge (for an overall view compare Hitzler & Reichertz & Schröer 1999), aming at the (re)construction of the social meaning of the video.

Therefore it is about answering the question, what the video wants from the audience, what the video is up to do, how it tries to establish communication power (Reichertz 2010) and at what target it aims by establishing this communication power.


The hermeneutical Sociology of Knowledge exclusively interprets actions. When analysing pictures, images or grafics  the question arises, which action should be the object of study actually. It is essential to distinguish shown action (gezeigte Handlung) from the act of showing (Handlung des Zeigens). The shown action names the actions or happenings, that is: actions recorded by means of picturing and therefore shown in the image field. The act of showing decribes the act of recording and designing, that is: the act of showing by means of designing an image (plus designing that, what has been recorded by the picture).


The hermeneutical Sociology of Knowledge implies ideally the following methodical work stages:

  1. Single images are coded openly in order to determine the categories and elements which are to be part of the notation system.
  2. A protocol of the different shots (takes), exact to the second, is drawn up.
  3. By examining these shots (takes), cohering and relating complexes of actions (Handlungszüge, here: moves) of the camera are identified. These complexes of actions are the essential analysis units. The accurateness of these analysis units depends on the project´s issue and research problem.
  4. In parallel to this, all essential parts of the “action of the camera“, that is: all parts and elements that are relevant for the action, are  transcribed in a coded and describing mode.
  5. In parallel to this first transcription, all essential parts and elements, that is: all parts and elements, that are in any way relevant for the action in front of the camera, are transcribed in a coded and describing mode on a score.


By hereby having developed a complete score, we have, according to the determined criterions, a verbal or symbolically coded and therefore solid version of the video. The version is a formalised protocol of this study. The criterions do vary, depending on the research question. They can and are required to be reviewed and evolved during the process of research work. Both score and video belong to the data that is to be interpretated. The video must always be the last and basic point of reference, to which it is referred to in case of an unclear score. The fundament of an interpretation is not the completed score, but the both kinds of data: the score and the video.


The analysis is completed when a highly aggregated concept, a meaning is found resp. constructed by means of the protocol and the video, a concept that unifies all elements into a coherent and sense-making whole and that puts these elements across for a particular interaction community . The validity of the gained outcomes results from the comprehensibility of the data interpretation and from the methodical controlled conjunction of the research question, the case, the data collection and the data evaluation.


As the research work is not yet completed, unfortinately final results can not be presented at this point.


Hitzler, R.,  Reichertz, J. and Schröer, N. (ed.) (1999) Hermeneutische Wissenssoziologie. Standpunkte zur Theorie der Interpretation, Konstanz: Universitätsverlag Konstanz.

Reichertz, J. and Englert, C. J.(2010) Einführung in die qualitative Videoanalyse, VS: Wiesbaden.

Reichertz, J. and Englert, C. J. (2010) ´Kontrolleure in der Trambahn` in Corsten, M., Krug, M. and Moritz, C. (ed.) Videographie praktizieren, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag. pp. 25-51.

Reichertz, J, (2010) Kommunikationsmacht. Was ist Kommunikation und was vermag sie? Und weshalb vermag sie das? Wiesbaden: VS Verlag.

Reichertz, J. and Marth, N. (2004) ´Der Unternehmensberater als Charismatiker. Hermeneutische Wissenssoziologie und die Interpretation von Homepages` in Zeitschrift für qualitative Bildungs-, Beratungs- und Sozialforschung, vol 2/2004, pp. 7-29.

Reichertz, Jo. (2001) ´The Raving Camera oder: Die Dekonstruktion eines Events’  in Hitzler, R. and Pfadenhauer, M. (ed.) Techno-Soziologie – Erkundungen einer Jugendkultur, Opladen, pp. 253 – 265.

Reichertz, J. (2000) Die Frohe Botschaft des Fernsehens. Kultursoziologische Untersuchung medialer Diesseitsreligion, Konstanz: Universitätsverlag Konstanz.

Reichertz, J. (1997) ´Kinder brauchen auch die ‘Power Rangers’. Überlegungen zum seriellen Fernsehmärchen ‘Power Rangers’` in Czaja, D. (ed.) Kinder brauchen Helden, München. pp. 131 – 180.

Reichertz, J. (1994) ´Selbstgefälliges zum Anziehen. Benetton äußert sich zu Zeichen der Zeit’ in Schröer, N. (ed.) Interpretative Sozialforschung, Opladen. pp. 253 – 280.

Reichertz, J. (1992) ´Der Morgen danach. Hermeneutische Auslegung einer Werbefotographie’ in Hartmann, H. A. and Haubl, R. (ed.) Bilderflut und Sprachmagie, Opladen. pp. 141 – 164.


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