Professor and Chair
Department of Sociology
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211-6100
Jay Gubrium was appointed Chair of the MU Department in 2002. He previously has taught at Marquette University and the University of Florida, was a Fulbright scholar at Tampere University, Finland, in 1996, and has been a visiting professor at Tampere, at Lund University in Sweden, Oslo University in Norway, and at the Universities of Copenhagen and Odense in Denmark. His areas of specialization are aging and the life course, health and illness, social interaction, identity, qualitative methods, and narrative analysis.
Jay works empirically at the border of ethnography and narrative analysis, combining them in new ways to deal with the perennial problems of linking observational data with transcripts of stories, speech, and other narrative material.
This has been applied in a long-standing program of research on the social organization of care and treatment in human service institutions. Gubrium's research on the everyday practice of caregiving in nursing homes, originally described in his monograph Living and Dying at Murray Manor, presents the lived details of care from the perspectives of the residents, the staff, and family members. Special attention has been paid to caregiving and the cognitively impaired in the context of broader cultural understandings, in particular how the Alzheimer's disease movement transformed the meaning of senility and the identities concerned, which was reported in his book Oldtimers and Alzheimer's: The Descriptive Organization of Senility.