Benjamin Krämer / Felix Frey

Measuring Strategies of Media Use: Methodological Approaches and the ›Techno-phenomenological Gap‹

Research on media use is mainly concerned with which media and content people use, to what extent, and why they do so. However, another strand of research has been examining the question of how people actually use the media. We discuss a number of fundamental methodological issues and decisions arising in the context of empirical research on how people use the media. Our contribution covers issues of (1) inducing vs. observing (elements of) strategies of media use, (2) inductive, empirically grounded vs. deductive, theory-based conceptualizations, (3) holistic vs reductionist approaches, (4) the level and scope of describing media use strategies, and (5) the use of introspective vs. observational methods for the empirical observation of (elements of) media use strategies. We identify a range of phenomena insufficiently captured by both conventional introspective methods and observational techniques, constituting a ‘techno-phenomenological gap’.

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