Klaus Krippendorff, Ph.D.


The role of language and dialogue in the social construction of reality: identities, institutions, cultural artifacts, power, Otherness, and meanings. Emancipatory epistemology (hermeneutics) of human communication and the design of technology. Content analysis, semantics, pragmatics of social interaction, and related research methods. Conversation theory, information theory, and cyberspace. Second-order cybernetics of complex communication systems, their reflexive, self-organizing, and autopoietic properties.


Language and dialogue in the social construction of various realities, institutions, cultural artifacts, structures of power, Otherness, meanings. Emancipatory epistemology (hermeneutics) for human communication and design of technology. Content analysis, semantics, pragmatics of social interaction, and associated research methods. Second-order cybernetics of complex communication systems, their reflexive, self-organizing, and autopoietic properties. Information theory.


  • Social Constructions of Reality. An inquiry into the principles and processes by which realities come to be socially constructed and discursively maintained.
  • Cybernetics, Systems and Media. An introduction to cybernetics and systems theory, whose concepts are fuelling the present information revolution.
  • Cybernetics and Society. Models of communication, control, self-organization, and autopoiesis are applied to various social phenomena and contrasted with other conceptual frameworks in the social sciences.
  • Information in Qualitative Data. The course develops multivariate methods for exploring a variety of qualitative data and simultaneously broadens concepts of information and communication in a variety of social settings.
  • Introduction to Qualitative Textual Research (formerly Semantics of Communication. The course is ethnographic in its approach to data collection (interviews, observational accounts); analytical in the way it probes its data (with models drawn largely from cultural anthropology); qualitative in the empirical methods it encourages (metaphor, conversation, and discourse analysis); dialogic in its respect for multiple voices (as opposed to the more familiar monologue); and critical or emancipatory in the consequences it aspires to.
  • Content Analysis. An introduction to the analysis of large bodies of textual matter, its methods, empirical problems, theories underlying these analytical efforts, and computer aided text analysis.
  • Seminar in Message Analysis. Advanced topics in the analysis of verbal and non-verbal message content.
  • Language in the Social Construction of Realities. This course concerns the discursive practices that constitute the realities we come to live in and observe – demonstrated with a variety of concepts: facts, emotions, social problems, race, gender, hegemony, family, science, technology, and more.
  • Social Cybernetics. Basic ideas about communication in society are explored from a cybernetic and systems theoretical perspective. Evolutionary aspects of cultural artifacts, the lives of communication networks, and other information technologies.
  • Semantics in Design. How artifacts, especially language-like or intelligent technologies, constitute themselves in various social practices and in their users' understanding. Key to this approach is the design of interfaces with technology.


Books and Monographs

  • The Semantic Turn; A New Foundation for Design. 349 pages. Boca Raton, London, New York: Taylor & Francis CRC, 2006.
  • Content Analysis, An Introduction to Its Methodology 2nd Edition; Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2004.
  • Design: A Discourse on Meaning; A Work Book. Philadelphia PA: University of the Arts, Summer 1994.
  • Information Theory: Structural Models for Qualitative Data. 96 pages. Beverly Hills CA: Sage Publications, 1986.
  • A Dictionary of Cybernetics. Norfolk VA: The American Society for Cybernetics, 1986. Entrees also available on the Web: http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ASC/INDEXASC.html
  • Design in the Age of Information, A Report to the National Science Foundation. (Ed.) 184 pages. Raleigh, NC: Design Research Laboratory, School of Design, North Carolina State University, 1997.
  • Communication and Control in Society. (Ed.) 597 pages. New York: Gordon and Breach, 1979.
  • The Analysis of Communication Content; Developments in Scientific Theories and Computer Techniques. With G. Gerbner, O.R. Holsti, W.J. Paisley, P.J. Stone (Eds.) 529 pages. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1969.

  • Content Analysis; An Introduction to its Methodology. 188 pages. Beverly Hills CA: Sage, 1980. Translated into:
    • Hungarian: A Tartalomelemzés Módszertanának Alapjai. Budapest: Balassi Kiad, 1995.
    • Japanese: Tokyo: Keiso Communication, 1990.
    • Spanish: Metodologia de analisis de contenido: teoria y practica. Barcelona-Buenos Aires-Mexico: Ediciones Paidos, 1990.
    • Italian: Analisi del Contenuto; Introduzione Methodologica. Introduzione di Enzo Campelli. Torino: ERI, 1983.

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