Review Essay: Situational Analysis—Strauss Meets Foucault?

Rainer Diaz-Bone


With the (German translation) of the volume "Situational Analysis" by Adele CLARKE, a new approach to the development of Grounded Theory Methodology (GTM) is presented. CLARKE radicalizes the methodological standpoint of classical pragmatism. She integrates structuralist and post-structuralist analytic elements into GTM. This review essay critically analyzes this new integration and employs the methodological notion of the "theory/methods package" introduced by CLARKE, which denotes the cohesion of theory, methodology and methods, and can be conceived as a kind of “methodic holism” (not to be confused with the different concept of methodological holism). CLARKE puts more emphasis on objects and power than classical GTM, and attempts to integrate a FOUCAULTian discourse model. However, she does not succeed in integrating the pragmatic and structuralist/post-structuralist methodologies in a fully coherent way. Her situational analysis does not incorporate a discourse-analytic methodology, and has not implemented the methods needed for a FOUCAULTian discourse analysis. Nevertheless, this valuable work presents an important development in pragmatic social research.



grounded theory methodology; pragmatism; neo-pragmatism; structuralism; post-structuralism; methodic holism; positivism; postmodern turn; discourse analysis


Copyright (c) 2012 Rainer Diaz-Bone

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