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This website has been established to support Adele E. Clarke’s Situational Analysis: Grounded Theory After the Postmodern Turn (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2005).



Situational Analysis is the new grounded theory approach that takes into account the postmodern turn. Building upon Anselm Strauss’s social worlds/arenas/discourse theory, it offers three main cartographic approaches:

1. situational maps that lay out the major human, nonhuman, discursive and other elements in the research situation of inquiry and provoke analysis of relations among them;

2. social worlds/arenas maps that lay out the collective actors, key nonhuman elements, and the arena(s) of commitment and discourse within which they are engaged in ongoing negotiations---mesolevel interpretations of the situation; and

3. positional maps that lay out the major positions taken, and not taken, in the data vis-à-vis particular axes of difference, concern, and controversy around issues in the situation of inquiry.

All three kinds of maps are intended as analytic exercises, fresh ways into social science data that are especially well suited to contemporary studies from solely interview-based to multi-sited research. They are intended as supplemental approaches to traditional grounded theory analyses that center on action—basic social processes. Instead, these maps center on the situation of inquiry. Through mapping the data, the analyst constructs the situation of inquiry empirically. The situation per se becomes the ultimate unit of analysis and understanding its elements and their relations are the primary goals.

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