Turning Points and Trajectories in a Late-Blooming Career

Blue-Ribbon Papers: Behind the Professional Mask: The Autobiographies of Leading Symbolic Interactionists

ISBN: 978-1-78052-746-8, eISBN: 978-1-78052-747-5

ISSN: 0163-2396

Publication date: 17 May 2012

Abstract

My early life was punctuated by turning points and transformations that gradually led to a surprising and late-blooming academic career – my first “real” sociology position began when I was 44. Here I trace six different trajectories of scholarly work which have compelled me: feminist women's health and technoscience studies; social worlds/arenas and the disciplinary emergence of reproductive sciences; the sociology of work and scientific practices; biomedicalization studies; grounded theory and situational analysis as qualitative research methods; and symbolic interaction-ists and -isms. I have circled back across them multiple times. Instead of seeing a beautifully folded origami of a life, it feels more like a crumpled wad of newspapers from various times. Upon opening and holding them up to the light in different ways, stories may be slowly discerned. I try to capture here some of the sweetness and fragility of these moments toward the end of an initially stuttering but later wondrously gratifying career.

Citation

Clarke, A.E. (2012), "Turning Points and Trajectories in a Late-Blooming Career", Denzin, N.K. (Ed.) Blue-Ribbon Papers: Behind the Professional Mask: The Autobiographies of Leading Symbolic Interactionists (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 38), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 75-102. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-2396(2012)0000038007

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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