Gesa Lindemann, Jonas Barth & Johanna Fröhlich: The Methodological Relevance of a Theory-of-Society Perspective for the Empirical Analysis of Violence. [Abstract]
The methodology of video data analysis (VDA) places a clear focus on the depicted immediate violent event. Herewith VDA takes a position in the long-standing controversy within violence research over narrow versus broad concepts of violence. A broad concept of violence was prominently proposed by Galtung, who introduced the notion of structural and cultural violence, which has been criticized as being a political and ideological concept. VDA argues for a narrow understanding of violence that includes only physical violence. The claim is that this avoids politicization and considers only the facts. A closer look reveals, however, that the situationist approach fails in this regard. The narrow and broad concepts of violence have two important things in common. Both of them define violence from the observer’s perspective and thus both prove to be politically and ideologically charged. In order to avoid these problems, we propose a reflexive conceptualization of violence, which brings together a socio-theoretical understanding of how violence is institutionalized with a theory-of-society perspective. Finally, we illustrate the consequences of a reflexive understanding of violence using the example of the events surrounding the 2007 G8 summit in Rostock/Heiligendamm.