Social Research Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-20, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 19 December, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2020.


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core definition

Objectification (Versachlichung) is the expression of an idea in concrete form.

explanatory context

It is the process of ordering the world into concrete objects. It presents intentions, meanings, etc. as objects of sense for the purpose of scientific investigation.

analytical review

The McGraw-Hill (2004) Sociological Theory site Glossary defines 'objectification' as:

The process through which we create external objects out of our internal thoughts. Also referred to as objectivation.

associated issues


related areas

See also




Researching the Real World Section 1.7 for a detailed discussion of objectivity and subjectivity


McGraw-Hill, 2004, Sociological Theory: Glossary , available at, accessed 14 May 2013, page not available 24 December 2016.

copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2020


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