in: REPORT - Zeitschrift für Weiterbildungsforschung, Issue 1, p. 23-35
The development of typologies is used as a method in social and educational research that helps to systematically reduce complex information. Thus, developing typologies facilitates theoretical as well as empirical clarification and contributes in this way to the attainment of scientific insights. Typologies are based on the results of comparisons derived from analysing empirical material. These results are then clustered and outlined as dimensions for allocating individual cases, identifying indicators for differentiation, describing contexts and finally characterising single types. This paper introduces selected forms and strategies of developing typologies and discusses requirements for typologies as well as criteria for differentiation. It concludes with an illustration of the potential of typologies for research on adult education by offering concrete examples.