Publication 6015

Gentzel P. (2017) Praktisches Wissen und Materialität. Herausforderungen für kritisch- konstruktivistische Kommunikations- und Medienforschung. M&K Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft 65(2): 275–293.
This paper analyses the paradigm of constructivism, relating it to current theoretical and empirical developments within social science. I am meeting the demand for describing social and cultural phenomena beyond correspondence-theoretical approaches by critically discussing various forms of constructivism and elaborating on the epistemological position of ‘The Social Construction of Reality’ (Berger & Luckmann). I argue that Berger and Luckmann are epistemologically ‘unscrupulously’ and, subsequently, show analytical weaknesses. This critical discussion forms the backdrop of an unfolding of the position of practice theories and a discussion of their innovative potential to social science research. In this context, the question of how to deal with media as artefacts and technologies is evaluated. I discuss this relationship and analyse it from a communication studies point of view, by means of two prominent analysis concepts, namely the ‘actor-network-theory’ of Bruno Latour and the ‘boundary objects’ approach of Susan Leigh Star from the field of science and technology studies. Finally, I outline central theoretical challenges and analytical perspectives for communication and media research.
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