Conceptualisation with GABEK: Ideas on Social Change in South Africa

  • Josef Zelger
  • Andries G. de Wet
  • Anne-Marié Pothas
  • Don Petkov
Part of the Studies in Fuzziness and Soft Computing book series (STUDFUZZ, volume 34)


In Fuzzy Set Theory, a given fuzzy set or a given membership function serves as starting point. The choice of membership functions is usually not described in the publications in this field, neither the process of formation of concepts. GABEK (© Zelger, J., Innsbruck) is a recent approach for analysing text data to surface and map opinions, feelings, attitudes and meaning. The text data is obtained from individuals’ free-form responses to open-ended questions. Concepts according to the GABEK theory are specific relations between concepts, which can be presented also as sets of sets of concepts. GABEK shows how a new concept emerges from the different concepts of individuals as relations between the different concepts. We illustrate the ability of GABEK to solicit a rich description of a problem situation from the various viewpoints of individual stakeholders, in this case social change in two areas of South Africa. Concepts are thus not formatted from the frame of reference of the researcher. Rather, the potential of social knowledge, distributed and inherent in the experience of individuals, is revealed and employed to conceptualisation.


Membership Function Small Business Problem Situation Soft System Methodology Operational Research Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josef Zelger
    • 1
  • Andries G. de Wet
    • 2
  • Anne-Marié Pothas
    • 2
  • Don Petkov
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut für PhilosophieUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbrückAustria
  2. 2.Department of Statistics and Operations ResearchPotchefstroom University for CHEVanderbijlparkSouth Africa
  3. 3.University of Natal Department of Computer Science and Information SystemsUniversity of NatalPietermaritzburgSouth Africa

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