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Christian Meyer & Ulrich v. Wedelstaedt: Opening the Black Box: An Ethnomethodological Approach for the Video-Based Analysis of Violence. [Abstract]

In this article, we explore four different cases of “violence” that occurred in different interactional and mediated settings. We identify basic properties as well as continuities and discontinuities genuine to different modalities of social practices labelled as violent. Three of the cases are reconstructed by using sequential analysis of video footage or transcripts while one relies on the in-depth interpretation of an autobiographic account. We lay special emphasis on aspects of ethnomethodological video analysis – in particular, its potentials and limitations for violence research – and also address theoretical as well as methodological aspects. In our first case, this especially concerns tactile interaction. Drawing on accounts of torture victims, we discuss invisibilized aspects of violence and suggest a way of rendering them methodologically accessible. Our second case deals with “public violence” in the boxing ring. Here, we demonstrate how violent practices are accessible by video analysis though the (in-)visibilization of them is hard-fought (in the real sense). The two final cases feature air-to-ground attacks in warfare and will complement our analysis by explicating how the absence of physical contact affects the situation of violence and violent practices in its incremental sequentiality.

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