Investigating communication networks contextually: Qualitative network analysis as cross-media research


  • Andreas Hepp University of Bremen, ZeMKI
  • Cindy Roitsch
  • Matthias Berg



qualitative network analysis, cross-media research, media and community, mediatization


This article introduces the approach of contextualised communication network analysis as a qualitative procedure for researching communicative relationships realised through the media. It combines qualitative interviews on media appropriation, egocentric network maps, and media diaries. Through the triangulation of these methods of data collection, it is possible to gain a differentiated insight into the specific meanings, structures and processes of communication networks across a variety of media. The approach is illustrated using a recent study dealing with the mediatisation of community building among young people. In this context, the qualitative communication network analysis has been applied to distinguish “localists” from “centrists”, “multilocalists”, and “pluralists”. These different “horizons of mediatised communitisation” are connected to distinct communication networks. Since this involves today a variety of different media, the contextual analysis of communication networks necessarily has to imply a cross-media perspective.


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How to Cite

Hepp, A., Roitsch, C., & Berg, M. (2016). Investigating communication networks contextually: Qualitative network analysis as cross-media research. MedieKultur: Journal of Media and Communication Research, 32(60), 20 p.