Carol Rambo

Carol Rambo


(901) 678-2611
(901) 678-2525
Clement Hall, Room 225
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Carol Rambo is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Memphis. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1993. From 2008-2011 she served as the editor for the journal Symbolic Interaction.

She has established both a national and international reputation as a scholar who uses narrative research strategies to explore the social management of trauma, marginality, and identity. She has engaged in participant observation, discourse analysis, and autoethnography to gain insight into these processes. She is best known for the "layered account" and her autoethnographies on childhood sexual abuse, parents with intellectual disability, and striptease dancing. Some of her work in autoethnography won the "Norman Denzin Qualitative Research Award," sponsored by the Carl Couch Center for Research on Internet and Culture.

She is also known for her work in narrative and life history, in particular, an orientation known as, "biography work," a theory of narrated identity grounded in the symbolic interactionist tradition. Much of her research in this area has been co-authored with students regarding marginalized statuses such as being overweight and female, a self-injurer, racially ambiguous, an Atheist, a suicide ideator or attempter, or a Native American. Her articles on these topics have appeared in journals such as Symbolic Interaction, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Deviant Behavior, Journal of Aging Studies, International Journal of Qualitative Review, and Intellectual and Developmental Disability.

Dr. Rambo has taught courses at the undergraduate level such as Sociology of Deviant Behavior, Individual and Society, Social Problems, and Contemporary Sociological Theory. At the graduate level she has taught Sociological Social Psychology, Qualitative Methods, Theories of Deviant Behavior and Theory Seminar. In 2018 she won the Distinguished Teaching Award, sponsored by The University of Memphis Alumni Association. In 2005 she won the W. Russell Smith Award for Teaching Excellence, sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, at The University of Memphis.