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I immediately met Susan Leigh STAR in Anselm's symbolic interactionist theory class and soon we were in a writing group for qualitative researchers, including Kathy CHARMAZ and others.
Leigh later wrote beautifully of her long and angst-ridden trek towards Anselm and GTM (STAR, 2007), which paralleled my own.
New geopolitics of globalization, or preferably transnationalization, are changing how we might think about the "conditions of possibility" for the future in every substantive area and geopolitical location.
Interestingly, the theme for the 2012 meetings of the American Sociological Association (ASA) was "Real Utopias: Emancipatory Projects, Institutional Designs, Possible Futures." To me, "real utopian" thinking—confronting all those contradictions—is precisely what is needed.
To generate more equitable social policies that can take differences and complexities into account—human and nonhuman and from socialities to global warming—we need stronger social science methodologies that address relationalities.
We need to comprehend them and what might be effective in reducing social suffering and sustaining biodiversity.
I am also a great believer in studying up, studying the sites of power to allow more effective interventions toward enhanced social justice through improved governance (e.g., BOGNER, LITTIG & MENZ, 2009; CHARMAZ, 2011; HARVEY, 2011; MIKECZ, 2012).
CLARKE also clarifies where SA is positioned within the broader field of qualitative methodologies, and discusses questions regarding the contribution of SA to the analysis of complex social change. She recently co-edited a four volume set on "Grounded Theory and Situational Analysis".
SA is designed to offer an analytical heuristic able to confront these complexities with a considerably expanded set of strategies for doing qualitative research. On Coming Home: The Road to Qualitative Research, GTM and Sciences & Technology Studies (STS) 3. She is also a co-editor of a festschrift "Boundary Objects and Beyond: Working with Susan Leigh Star" (BOWKER, TIMMERMANS, BALKA & CLARKE, 2014).
Her research centers on social, cultural and historical studies of science, technology and medicine with emphases on biomedicalization and common medical technologies for women such as contraception and the Pap smear.