Picture and habitus. Processes of creating meaning in the reception of photographs
Pictures are characterized by a combination of iconic exactness and semantic vagueness (polysemic textuality): it is evident what is in the picture, but the meaning is often open to interpretation - meaning is generated in perceiving (or apperceiving) the picture - the interaction of the viewer with the picture is topic of this book: the way how this interaction can be assessed. This is analyzed by Michel in the context of media reception research, using Bourdieu"s habitus theory in a qualitative research design. According to this theory processes of reception are milieu-specific (habitus) and thus not rationalistic acts of "pure cognition" but practical acts taking place "beyond consciousness and discursive thinking". To empirically reconstruct this pre-reflexive level of meaning in the reception of pictures the author employs the documentary method of Ralf Bohnsack combined with the method of group discussion - to create a "praxeological" form of reception research.