Holocaust-Education Revisted

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Methodology of the Reflective Grounded Theory

The research project purposely uses the methodology of the Reflective Grounded Theory, a methodology of explorative qualitative social research. The purpose of this methodology is to explain social phenomena of everyday life by taking their theory-ladenness into account. Thus it is very focused on the social participants and the reality of their everyday work routines.

During the research project, groups of people are asked about their perception of the mitigation processes in regards to Nazi crimes and the holocaust. Schools, universities, as well as institutions like museums, documentation centers and concentration camp memorial sites are considered.

The openness of the method enables a "new" view on a topic that has been thoroughly researched and discussed. The research group is aiming for a multi-perspective approach to the topic. Protocols of events and memorial site tours, interviews with participants’ analyzation of conversations with teachers and students as well as the reports of victims, wrongdoers and followers are evaluated. This data is continuously collected, coded and united into a sample. Reflective and empiric results are closely connected in this process.

In a field that is shaped by manifold social norms, political views and desired emotions, the researchers are moving on new ground and position themselves reflectively.