Sociology Professor to Receive Honors for Book

Janet Basu on August 07, 2006

Adele Clarke

Adele Clarke, PhD, will be honored on August 13 as co-recipient of the Charles Horton Cooley Award of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. Presented each year at the society's annual meeting, the award recognizes a recent, significant book or article. "The Cooley Award signifies outstanding achievement, and Dr. Clarke's book, Situational Analysis: Grounded Theory After the Postmodern Turn, represents such an achievement," said Howard Pinderhughes, PhD, chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the UCSF School of Nursing. Clarke is professor of sociology in the School of Nursing and adjunct professor of the history of health sciences in the School of Medicine at UCSF. Her book, published in 2005 by Sage Publications, offers situational analysis as a method to be used by social scientists and humanities scholars to analyze qualitative research data from interviews, ethnographic observations, historical, visual, and other narrative materials. Situational analysis is based on and extends grounded theory, a qualitative analysis method developed by the late Anselm Strauss, PhD, UCSF professor of sociology. In doing grounded theorizing, scholars start with the experiences of people and communities as the data for sociological analysis -- building a theory essentially from the ground up. Originally formulated in 1967, today it is one of the most widely used methods in qualitative research globally, used widely in sociology, nursing, education, management studies, social work, the professions and beyond. Situational analysis adds data-mapping strategies to promote insights into situations as social wholes. "Situational analysis is deeply context-driven," Clarke said. "It emphasizes range of variation and differences rather than commonalities, silences in data as well as articulated positions, complexities rather than simplifications. It allows integrative and/or comparative analysis of diverse data sources (historical, visual, narrative) with more common qualitative data (interview and ethnographic materials). Situational analysis is thus very useful for multisite research projects that are increasingly common, not only in the social sciences, but also in the humanities." Clarke's primary research areas are the historical sociology of biomedical sciences and technologies, qualitative research methodologies, women's health and a new, major project in globalization of medicines. She has been teaching courses in women's health since 1973. Clarke's book Disciplining Reproduction: Modernity, American Life Sciences and the "Problems of Sex" (University of California Press, 1998) won the 1999 Eileen Basker Memorial Prize from the Society for Medical Anthropology and the 2000 Ludwik Fleck Prize from the Society for Social Studies of Science. Clarke's books Women's Health: Complexities and Differences (edited with Sheryl Ruzek and Virginia Olesen, Ohio State University Press, 1997) and Revisioning Women, Health and Healing: Feminist, Cultural and Technoscience Perspectives (edited with Virginia L. Olesen, Routledge, 1999) have become key resources. Since joining the UCSF faculty in 1989, Clarke has regularly taught in the social theory, qualitative research, women's health/gender and health, and science, technology and medicine studies course sequences. She currently is working with Pinderhughes to develop a new curriculum in International Health/Globalization and Medicines. With anthropologist Vincanne Adams, PhD, she is co-director of the interdisciplinary, multicampus UCSF Center for Science, Technology and Medicine Studies. The Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, which gives the Cooley Award annually, is an international social science professional organization of scholars interested in qualitative, especially interactionist, social research. The society, which has its annual meetings in conjunction with the American Sociological Society, convenes this year from August 11 through13 in Montreal, Canada. Links: Faculty Profile, UCSF School of Nursing