Review Essay: Making a Mess with Situational Analysis?

Tom Mathar


Adele CLARKE, a student of grounded theory co-founder Anselm STRAUSS, uses situational analysis to develop both a methodology and a method which is able to represent the field's messiness, i.e., its heterogeneous and complex character. Grounded theory, CLARKE's starting point, is stuck in a modernist world-view, particularly by looking too much for a pure and oversimplified "basic social process". In order to make grounded theory post-modern, CLARKE considers discourses that are beyond pragmatism, e.g., those initiated by FOUCAULT, LATOUR, HARAWAY. This review essay argues that even though there remain some uncertainties in engaging in this epistemological hybrid, situational analysis provides a very good instrument for researchers to come into their material more deeply and, therefore, is a convincing tool for practice-oriented social science working with qualitative methods.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs080244


situational analysis; grounded theory; multiple social processes; postmodernism; pragmatism; post-essentialism; relational analysis

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Copyright (c) 2008 Tom Mathar

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