Interpreting text and images: A lecture series by Heiner Legewie and Thomas Muhr

This lecture series is based on a "Vorlesung" held by Prof. Dr. Legewie, emeritus, in the 1980s at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany. To get fit for the ATLAS.ti Community 40 years later the lectures have been thoroughly revised, expanded to actual developments and enlarged by one lesson by Thomas Muhr. Questions and feedback: [email protected]
Heiner Legewie
Prof. em. Dr. med. Dr. phil., Technische Universität Berlin
Thomas Muhr
Founder and developer of ATLAS.ti
  1. Is this lecture series for me?
  2. What will I learn?

Is this lecture series for me?

The lecture series aims primarily at empirical social scientists who collect and analyze qualitative data in psychological, pedagogical, sociological, health science, or other research contexts using observation methods, interviews, video, multimedia, or even researchers who work with historical documents. Yet the broader field of the humanities, communication, cultural, artistic, political, and historical sciences, urban planning, economics, investigative journalism, creative research, and large-scale project management also deals with qualitative data, in the broadest sense, any time we work with language or visual documents. This impressive wealth of applications is evidenced by the many different institutions that use ATLAS.ti.

So, if you work with qualitative data in any area mentioned, even outside of empirical social research, you will benefit from this lecture series.

What will I learn?

In this lecture series, we would like to take you on a journey to explore the interdisciplinary fundamentals of qualitative research. We will endeavor to convey even demanding theoretical approaches in a way that makes them easier to comprehend. Our goal is to make this lecture series a fascinating intellectual adventure and provide you with rich background knowledge of the craft of qualitative research.

These lectures deal first with the prerequisites of understanding and interpreting, then the qualities of texts and images as qualitative data. After this, Thomas Muhr will describe the IT tools used in computer-aided data analysis, using the development of ATLAS.ti as an example.

All PDFs in English and German are available for download here.

Wenn Sie die Seite auf Deutsch lesen wollen, folgen Sie bitte diesem Link.

Lecture 1: How the ATLAS.ti project began

In Lecture 1, Prof. Dr. Legewie welcomes all readers and introduces the lecture series. He also tells us something about the developmental years of the ATLAS.ti prototype. The second part of the lecture marks the beginning of the methodological journey that we would like to take you on. You will learn about two basic paradigms of research: Quantitative, which is based on counting, measuring, mathematics, and statistics, and qualitative research, which is based on communication and understanding.

Lecture 2: Semiotics - Signs and meaning

In this lecture on semiotics, you learn about the paradigm of signs in exploring the world. Semiotics teaches us the fundamentals of communication and how signs become signifiers. It also offers a theory of culture and meaning based on the use of signs.

Lecture 3: Phenomenology

This lecture is about the location of subjective experience in the physical world,
the phenomenological view of our everyday live world, and about conditions for understanding

Lecture 4: The Theory of Communicative Action

The theory of communicative action is concerned with the basics of acting by human communication and thus constitutes a comprehensive grounding of qualitative research.

Lecture 5: Qualitative projects

The 5th lecture deals with the peculiarities of planning qualitative projects. The second part shows the transformation of the workspace for hermeneutic interpretation into a software system using the example of ATLAS.ti. Finally, you will be introduced to the Grounded Theory Method as a comprehensive strategy for the discovery of new insights.