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Making a Mess with Situational Analysis May 12, 2010

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Academic, PhD, Talks.

At the Department of Communication here at Aalborg University we have a doctoral program in Human Centered Communication and Informatics (HCCI) which each Wednesday hosts  informal lunch seminars where PhD students can discuss ongoing research, present paper or dissertation drafts etc. Today me and guest from Aarhus School of Business, Annette Agerdal-Hjermind, each gave a presentation under the headline ‘Making a Mess with Situational Analysis’. Annette and I are both using Situational Analysis (Clarke, 2005) in our PhD projects and we wanted to exchange experiences and receive feedback from colleagues.

Annette is working with blogging in an organisational context and gave an interesting presentation on her case, data and how she is planning to use Clarke’s situational maps when coding, mapping and categorising her data. You can learn more from her PhD blog.

The situational maps are exactly the parts of Clarke’s framework I have integrated in my PhD project. Here, I am using Scollon & Scollon’s (2004) Nexus Analysis as a methodological and theoretical framework. As a first step in a Nexus Analysis the Scollons suggest that you make broad-stroke maps of your field and the many discourse cycles that are circulating through the moment of social action you are studying. I think Clarke’s maps are useful tools when engaging in such a task, since the point is to map out “the complex situations of inquiry broadly conceived” (Clarke & Friese, 2007, p. 366). Both Clarke and the Scollons believe that ‘context’ should be understood and treated as something that exists within the siuation of inquiry (and not as mere background). Therefore, I think the two frameworks go well together and the combination has worked for me when trying to sketch out maps of young people’s use of social network sites in Denmark.

You can learn more and see the slides from my presentation here (at the last slide I have included a list of references.):


1. James Mcnaulty @onlinephduk.com - May 13, 2010

Hi Malene :),
Thanks for the information. The HCCI Ph.D. sounds very interesting. Is there a remote / or distance learning option offered for this ?
Your topic, situational maps sounds very interesting. Please let me know if you would like to write a guest post on my blog.
Keep up the good work.

Malene Charlotte Larsen - May 13, 2010

Hi James,

I don’t think there is a distance learning option offered, but we do have many international PhD students here. Check out e-Learning Lab where I’m physically located.

2. BeINSTORE - May 14, 2010

You are brilliant and as abstract as one can be acceptable in this timely topic.

Thank you for the resources. 10:17

3. BeINSTORE - May 17, 2010

I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work. 23:11

4. Jane - June 21, 2010

Greetings from one PhD student to another! Great blog.


5. BeINSTORE~ - August 18, 2010
6. Jim Richardson - October 5, 2010

I was browsing about online MBA programs when I came across this site. This is a very interesting topic. It really made sense to me. Thank you for sharing his information with us. I would love to know how else we can use situational analysis on research works. If ever, I might consider using it too. I think it will be an effective tool. I’m glad that I found your site. I would definitely read more articles from you. Thank you very much for sharing this! I hope you’ll keep on posting more. Many people can have a benefit from your blog.

7. pariuri sportive - May 31, 2011

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8. betfair - March 1, 2012

Je regardais sur les programmes de MBA en ligne quand je suis tombé sur ce site. C’est un sujet très intéressant. Il a vraiment fait du sens pour moi. Merci de partager ses informations avec nous. J’aimerais savoir comment nous pouvons utiliser l’analyse de la situation sur les travaux de recherche. Si jamais, je pourrais envisager de l’utiliser aussi. Je pense que ce sera un outil efficace. Je suis heureux que j’ai trouvé votre site. I would definitely lire plus d’articles de votre part. Merci beaucoup de partager cette! J’espère que vous allez continuer à poster plus. Beaucoup de gens peuvent avoir un avantage à partir de votre blog.

9. pimapen - August 14, 2012

I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get advice from other experienced individuals that share the same interest.

10. social media sites before facebook - August 1, 2014

social media sites before facebook

Making a Mess with Situational Analysis | My PhD Blog

11. PhD Thesis guidance - January 30, 2015

well Its a wonderful blog i have ever seen. You represented your experience in a good way. I appreciate your Idea. I have also done PhD and nowadays i am providing help to PhD students to complete their project and thesis.

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