The 31st Annual
Qualitative Analysis Conference:

The Social Construction of Boundaries:
Creating, Maintaining, Transcending,
and Reconstituting Boundaries

Brescia University College at Western University
June 25 to 27, 2014

Sessions in Mother St. James Building

It is a fine line, Zerubavel (1991) tells us, that establishes boundaries permitting us to separate order from chaos, meaning from meaninglessness. How we construct boundaries—and in doing so distinguish one object from another—shapes our perception of reality and our lines of action. In recognizing the power of the boundary as a social construct in people’s everyday lives and the theoretical utility it serves researchers in their studies, we are placing the concept of boundary centre stage at this year’s conference. Qualitative research and interpretive analysis are well positioned to explore the diverse ways in which this concept relates to our methods and theories. How does the boundary help define the topography of research fields and shape data collection? What are the diverse ways in which the concept might inform, or develop out of, our analyses?

We ask presenters to reflect on how notions of the boundary continue to pique our methodological and analytical imaginations. In contemplating the generic, processual qualities of boundary construction, we might consider how boundaries are created, maintained, transcended, and reconstituted. Questions abound. What role do boundaries serve in people’s various life-worlds? How, where, and when are boundaries blurred? How do people negotiate boundaries in their everyday lives? How are the boundaries of theoretical concepts, ideas, and perspectives challenged, changed, maintained, and defended? Lines of inquiry are limited only by our creative, analytically playful imaginations.

While this year’s theme highlights boundaries, we encourage submissions from people conducting qualitative research and interpretive analysis more generally. Submissions from novice and experienced researchers are welcomed. On top of the regular sessions, new this year we are hosting a series of sessions devoted specifically to undergraduate student research. We ask faculty members and graduate students to advertise this opportunity to undergraduates that might be interested in presenting their qualitative work.

We are pleased to announce that Joan Fujimura (University of Wisconsin-Madison) will be presenting the Keynote Address.

We are also pleased to announce that Michael Atkinson (University of Toronto), Jeff Ferrell (Texas Christian University), Staci Newmahr (Buffalo State College), and Juha Tuunainen (University of Helsinki) will be attending as Featured Speakers.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Steven Kleinknecht, Carrie Sanders, Antony Puddephatt, and Lisa-Jo van den Scott

The Final Conference Program is now available.

Special journal issue devoted to conference papers on "boundaries" to be published by Qualitative Sociology Review.

Journal editors from Qualitative Sociology ReviewSymbolic Interaction, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research, Sociology of Sport Journal, and Crime, Media, Culture to form panel for Editors' Roundtable.

Joan Fujimura to present the Keynote Address.

Michael Atkinson, Jeff Ferrell, Staci Newmahr, and Juha Tuunainen attending as Featured Speakers.
Carrie Sanders,
Jun 17, 2014, 8:40 AM