Prof. Dr. Friedrich Krotz
ZeMKI, University of Bremen

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The Mediatized Production and Use of Political Positions. About Practices of Discourse in the Offices of Members of the German Bundestag

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Thomas Scheffer

Project assistants: Stefan Laube


The current diagnosis Mediatization marks out a new "structural transformation of the public" (Habermas 1990), which also covers mechanisms of democratic opinion and power formation. Mediatized political debates are fragmented and accelerated. They thus represent new challenges to the political apparatus and its personnel. We are concerned with these challenges and the ways they are met (or missed) by the parliamentary apparatus and staff.

By means of field research in MPs' offices in the German Bundestag our project investigates the practical demands of political competition, together with the tactics, methods and techniques to meet these demands. Today, the offices face a growing and differentiated demand for political positions. Our preliminary studies identified basic connections between mediatization, the factions’ organizations, and practical-institutional politics. Further case studies on the actual fabrication of collective positions in networked offices and on their utilization in political arenas will further our knowledge on these connections.

The offices, this is a first hypotheses generated so far, differ systematically in their division of labor, their working methods, and their use of new and old media. By ways of ethnomethodological "Studies of Work" in the offices and by trans-sequential analyzes of discourse practices/processes, we substantiate our thick comparisons of the modes of fabrication/utilization of political positions on the one hand and spell out the practical implications of the increasing demands for ‘quick’ positions in times of mediatization on the other hand.


Research field: Contexts


Scheffer, Thomas (2012): Die Politik der Positionen. Zur medienanalytischen Bestimmung kommunikativer Zusammenhänge. In: Zeitschrift für Soziologie, forthcoming.

Scheffer, Thomas (2012): Die trans-sequentielle Analyse - und ihre formativen Objekte. In: Köngeter, Stefan (Ed.): Grenzobjekte, forthcoming.

Scheffer, Thomas (2012): Rechtssoziologie. In: Burzan, Nicole/ Endruweit, Günter/ Trommsdorff, Gisela (Eds.): Wörterbuch der Soziologie, Konstanz: UVK.3, forthcoming.

Scheffer, Thomas (2012): Kulturanalyse eines Politischen Prozesses. Ethnomethodologie mit  Durkheim. In: Bogusz, Gisela/ Delitz, Heike (Eds.): Durkheim: Zwischen Soziologie und Ethnologie, forthcoming.


Scheffer, Thomas: Die Methode der „trans-sequentiellen Analyse“ von Medien als formative Objekte. Presentation at the nworkshop „Mediatisierungsprozesse in der Empirie: Methodendesigns zur Analyse von ‚Wandel’“, 2013-09-19 until 2013-09-20 at the University Münster, held 2013-09-20.