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Sociology of the Church

(1,158 words)

Author(s): Daiber, Karl-Fritz | Feige, Andreas
[German Version] I. Practical Theology The systematic study of the church as a social entity (Churched) began with A. v. Oettingen in the 19th century. In the context of practical theology, the church studies published by P. Drews beginning in 1902 produced accurate descriptions of the life of the church. These were joined in subsequent decades by smaller individual studies, especially of the religiosity of industrial workers. Pastoral sociology began to take shape in France and the Netherlands, buil…

Surveys/Polls

(580 words)

Author(s): Feige, Andreas
[German Version] The history of modern opinion surveys begins with the Gallup Institute in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. Today politics, economics, and culture are inconceivable without such surveys: complex liberal democratic systems driven by a market model need a feedback instrument based on reliable ¶ systemic information to guide decision-making processes. The opinions of individuals are an essential part of such information; within limits, theoretically, these opinions reflect orientations that determine action. The published…

Social Research, Empirical

(725 words)

Author(s): Feige, Andreas
[German Version] Empirical social research is a significant requirement for the social sciences (sociology, psychology, ethnology, economics) to the extent that they consider themselves factual sciences. It comprises the development and application of methods and techniques for discovering theoretically relevant information about social issues and situations, confirmed by explicitly systematic study. This information includes (a) objective data (e.g. legal structures, institutional structures, str…