Patricia Benner
Patricia Benner, RN, PhD, FAAN

Professor Emerita, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Email: [email protected]

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Carroll Estes
  Carroll Estes, PhD, FAAN

Professor Emerita, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Email: [email protected]

Areas of Interest: sociology of aging; complex organizations; health services research; political sociology; medical sociology; social policy; gender; qualitative and quantitative analysis; survey; political-economic analysis

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Charlene Harrington
  Charlene Harrington, RN, PhD, FAAN

Professor Emerita, Dept. of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Email: [email protected]

Areas of interest: quality, access, utilization, and expenditures of nursing home care, home and community based care, and personal care services, as well as labor market and managed care issues

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Ruth Malone UCSF
  Ruth Malone, RN, PhD, FAAN

Professor Emerita, Dept. of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Email: [email protected]

Areas of Interest:Tobacco industry activities, tobacco control policy, marginalized populations. policy problem definition; roles of media and multinational corporations in shaping health policy issues and

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Robert Newcomer
  Bob Newcomer, PhD

Professor Emeritus, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Email: [email protected]

Areas of Interest:  health care financing, quality assurance, and quality improvement—mostly in long term care

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In Memoriam:


  Adele E. Clarke, PhD

April 1, 1945 - January 19, 2024

Online Memorial Site

Clarke Obituary, by Monica Casper

Situational Analysis Website

Adele was born on April 1, 1945, in New York. She graduated from Barnard College in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in sociology; from NYU in 1970 with a master's degree in sociology; and from UC San Francisco in 1985 with a doctorate in sociology, working with Anselm Strauss and Leonard Schatzman. From 1987 to 1989, she held a National Institute of Mental Health-funded postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. Adele’s scholarly expertise was in medical sociology, science and technology studies, women’s health, qualitative methods and history of medicine, and she made a significant impact in — and built bridges connecting — all of these areas. 

‌‌Adele’s career was refreshingly non-linear. From 1978 to 1983, while living in rural Northern California, she was an adjunct assistant professor and coordinator of the Women’s Studies program at Sonoma State University. In 1985, she joined the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) at UCSF as an assistant professor, was tenured in 1992 and became a full professor in 1998. From 1992 to 2009, Adele served as program director of the doctoral program in sociology and also served as vice chair and chair of the department. She was a devoted teacher and mentor to many students in the SBS department, the School of Nursing and well beyond. She retired in 2013 with emerita status and yet continued to be quite active in mentoring students and faculty, giving talks, holding workshops on situational analysis and publishing, up until very recently. 

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‌‌Adele’s scholarly contributions were truly remarkable. She authored, co-authored, and edited numerous books, articles and book chapters, and she was methodologically innovative. Her books include "The Right Tools for the Job: At Work in Twentieth Century Life Sciences" with Joan Fujumira; "Women’s Health: Differences and Complexities" with Sheryl Ruzek and Virginia Olesen; "Disciplining Reproduction: Modernity, American Life Sciences, and the ‘Problem of Sex’"; "Revisioning Women, Health, and Healing: Feminist, Cultural, and Technoscience Perspectives" with Virginia Olesen; "Situational Analysis: Grounded Theory After the Postmodern Turn"; "Biomedicalization: Technoscience and Transformations of Health and Illness in the U.S." with Laura Mamo, Jennifer Fosket, Jennifer Fishman and Janet Shim; "Grounded Theory and Situational Analysis" with Kathy Charmaz; "Boundary Objects and Beyond: Working with Susan Leigh Star" with Geof Bowker, Stefan Timmermans and Ellen Balka; "Situational Analysis: Grounded Theory After the Interpretive Turn" with Carrie Friese and Rachel Washburn; and "Making Kin, Not Population" with Donna Haraway. 

Adele received numerous awards, honors and accolades, beginning with the Roberta G. Simmons Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association (ASA) in 1986. For "Disciplining Reproduction," she received the Eileen Basker Distinguished Book Award from the Society for Medical Anthropology in 1999 and the Ludwik Fleck Distinguished Book Award from the Society for Social Studies of Science in 2000. She was recognized in 2000 as a UCSF Woman of Distinction by the UCSF Center for Gender Equality. In 2002, she was honored by the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction with the Feminist Mentor Award. "Situational Analysis" was awarded the Charles Horton Cooley Distinguished Book Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. In 2012, she received the Helen Nahm Research Lecture Award from the UCSF School of Nursing and the J.D. Bernal Prize for Outstanding Contributions from the Society for Social Studies of Science. In 2015, the ASA Medical Sociology Section honored her with the Leo G. Reeder Distinguished Career Award. Also in 2015, she received the UCSF 150th Anniversary Alumni Excellence Award. 

Adele is survived by her husband Allan Regenstreif, a psychotherapist. She is also survived by her many former students who continue to carry forward her rich intellectual legacy. 


 Barney Glaser, PhD

February 27, 1930 - January 30, 2022

During his time at UCSF, Glaser collaborated with the late Anselm Strauss, PhD, professor emeritus in Social and Behavioral Sciences, to develop grounded theory, an innovative method of qualitative analysis widely used in sociology, nursing, education, social work and organizational studies. Glaser’s work has provided researchers with the tools to produce grounded theories with data of all kinds, making him one of the most highly cited social scientists of all time. Together, they studied the process of dying in American hospitals starting with the book "Awareness of Dying," a seminal work in the field. Their approach to the analysis of qualitative data was extremely innovative, so they decided to write a book detailing their methodology. This book, "The Discovery of Grounded Theory," has influenced thousands of researchers. Barney went on to refine "Classic Grounded Theory" in 17 books he wrote and sold through his publishing company Sociology Press. His books provided researchers with the tools to produce grounded theories with data of all kinds. Barney authored over 70 published journal articles and books that have collectively garnered over two hundred and fifty thousand citations, making him one of the most highly cited social scientists of all time. He has mentored hundreds of Ph.D. students around the world. In 1999, Stockholm University awarded Barney an honorary doctorate to recognize his impact on the field of sociology and social research.

A full obituary was published by San Francisco Chronicle on Sep. 23, 2022 and can be accessed here.



Ginnie Olesen
Ginnie Olesen, PhD

July 21, 1925 - August 22, 2023

Remembering Ginnie Olesen

2009 Autobiography of Ginnie Olesen

Clarke & Ruzek comment on the work of Ginnie Olesen, Symbolic Interaction Vol. 39, Issue 4


Dr. Virginia Olesen, Ginnie to those who knew her, was Professor Emerita of Sociology in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences of the UCSF School of Nursing having joined the faculty in 1960. She was born in Lovelock, Nevada, did her BA at the University of Nevada, an MA in communication at Chicago, and completed her Ph.D. in 1961 at Stanford.  Virginia Olesen then moved into a major leadership role in the then emergent area of women’s health, including such courses at UCSF beginning in 1973, and organizing in 1975 the first US conference focused on social science contributions on Women and Their Health: Research Implications for a New Era. Her research continued to focus on nurses and other women workers, including clerical workers and issues in occupational health, and she began also to write about as well as teach qualitative research methodology.

In the early 1980s, Ginnie  began working with colleagues towards national and international curriculum development in women’s health, not only in nursing but also in the social sciences.  In 1997, Sheryl Ruzek, Virginia Olesen and Adele Clarke’s edited Women's Health: Dynamics of Diversity (Ohio State University Press) won the Choice Top Three Outstanding Academic Book of the Year Award.  Based on a superb conference held in 1995 at UCSF, Adele E. Clarke and Virginia L. Olesen’s edited Revisioning Women, Health and Healing: Feminist, Cultural and Technoscience Perspectives (Routledge)  in 1999. 

Virginia Olesen won the following major professional awards:

  • Leo G. Reader Career Award of the Medical Sociology Section, American Sociological Association, 1988
  • Helen Nahm Award for Distinguished Research of the School of Nursing, UC, San Francisco, 1992
  • Mentor of the Year Award, School of Nursing, UC, San Francisco, 1993
  • Chancellor’s First Faculty Award for the Advancement of Women, UC, San Francisco, 1994
  • George Herbert Mead Career Award of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, 1996
  • Honorary Member, Theta Sigma Tau, 1997
  • Society for Applied Anthropology: Celebration of the Work and Career of Virginia Olesen, 2000 Session 

Ginnie became Professor Emerita at UCSF in 1993 and continued to publish, supervise doctoral students, offer courses, attend and present at conferences for years after her retirement. She was a truly exceptional citizen of academia.





Robert Staples
 Robert Staples, PhD

June 28, 1942 - February 7, 2020

View CV //  View Biography

Thoughts on the 50th Birthday of the UCSF Doctoral Program in Sociology - an autobiographical essay, 2018

Robert E. Staples, Ph.D., died at age 79 in Australia on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. 

Dr. Staples leaves behind a towering legacy in the family field as a prolific researcher and a leading authority of Black family life. He reached the rank of professor emeritus of sociology in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, having began at this university in 1973. Prior to this appointment, he was a faculty member at Howard University, Fisk University, and California State University at Hayward. Dr. Staples concurrently served as a visiting professor at a number of institutions including Tougaloo College, Florida State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Hawaii, Cornell University, the Institute of Family Studies in Melbourne, Australia, and the University of Warwick, Coventry, England.

Dr. Staples earned his master's degree in sociology from San Jose State University and his doctorate in family sociology from the University of Minnesota. He has published over 200 articles in scholarly publications in countries around the world, and has written and edited an extensive list of books on Black families, many of which have been adopted as standard texts in more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Africa, the West Indies, and England. Among his books are Black Masculinity (1982), The Urban Plantation (1987), The Black Family: Essays and Studies (1991), and Black Families at the Crossroads (1993). (NCFR)

In his later years, Dr. Staples split his time living between Australia and San Francisco.  He would always visit the SBS offices when he came back to town to visit with old friends.  He was known for his sarcastic humor and kindness, and never forgot to send birthday cards to the staff.  He will be missed.


Anselm Strauss, PhD

December 18, 1916-September 5, 1996

Read more on Anselm Strauss, here.

Sociologist Anselm Strauss was internationally known as a medical sociologist (especially for his pioneering attention to chronic illness and dying) and as the developer (with Barney Glaser) of grounded theory, an innovative method of qualitative analysis widely used in sociology, nursing, education, social work, and organizational studies. He also wrote extensively on Chicago sociology/symbolic interactionism, sociology of work, social worlds/arenas theory, social psychology and urban imagery. When he died he was Professor Emeritus of Sociology in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco. Many of Strauss's books are still in print, and his works have been translated into eight other languages. His culminating theoretical statement was Continual Permutations of Action (1993). He had just finished proofreading his 32nd book the day before he died.