In the future, the University of Konstanz and the Thurgau University of Teacher Education (PHTG, Switzerland) will work even more closely together. On 1 April 2021, the Binational Center for Qualitative Methods (BZQM) kicked off its work. The BZQM provides an infrastructure platform for qualitative cultural and social methods at both universities by sharing and coordinating methodological knowledge and by supporting exchange among researchers at the University of Konstanz, the PHTG and the HTWG Konstanz - University of Applied Sciences. The BZQM is funded by the University of Konstanz and the PHTG in Kreuzlingen.
Qualitative methods of empirical cultural and social research encompass a wide range of different approaches to social and cultural phenomena, including methods for the analytical reconstruction of social processes, the investigation of the logic of single cases or the study of worlds of meaning via participatory observation. At the University of Konstanz, the disciplines involved include sociology, anthropology, computer and information science, empirical education research, history (including history education), law, literature, art and media studies, philosophy, politics and public administration and sport science. At the PHTG, research involving qualitative methods focuses on the sociology of education, educational science, teaching methodologies, education research, media education as well as studies on early childhood and school development. At the HTWG Konstanz, another member of the centre, the field of communication design is particularly interested in expanded exchange.
The BZQM’s infrastructural platform provides a cross-border point of contact for all research projects involving qualitative methods. “Qualitative methods and methodologies are continually developing further. Our goal is to provide a variety of different approaches to all interested people and, thus, stimulate discussion”, says Dr Frank Oberzaucher from the University of Konstanz. As the designated managing director, Oberzaucher will be part of the managing board that defines the BZQM’s areas of focus and its activities. The sociologist Professor Christian Meyer from the University of Konstanz is slated to become director of the BZQM. The planned co-directors are the education researcher Professor Achim Brosziewski (PHTG) and the media scholar Professor Isabell Otto (University of Konstanz).
In addition to advising persons who are preparing applications for new research projects as well as staff in current research projects and (post)doctoral researchers, the BZQM will establish infrastructure, such as video cameras, software and a system for the sustainable archival and documentation of research data. A media laboratory has already been established that can be expanded upon as needs change. Workshops, summer schools and a publication format are also in the works.
- Binational Center for Qualitative Methods (BZQM) founded by the University of Konstanz and the Thurgau University of Teacher Education (PHTG, Switzerland)
- Platform for both universities’ research projects that employ qualitative methods
- The BZQM’s director is slated to be sociologist Professor Christian Meyer (University of Konstanz); the planned co-directors are education researcher Professor Achim Brosziewski (PHTG) and media scholar Professor Isabell Otto (University of Konstanz). The designated managing director is sociologist Dr Frank Oberzaucher (University of Konstanz)
- Funding provided by the University of Konstanz and the Thurgau University of Teacher Education (PHTG)