Elvi Whittaker was formerly the President of the Canadian Anthropology Society, President of the Social Science Federation of Canada and Chair/Présidente of the Scientific Screening Committee for the Management of Social Transformations, UNESCO. She has been an Honorary Fellow at Ranchi University, India, a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Tourism and Culture Change at Leeds Metropolitan University UK, a University Scholar for the American Council of Learned Societies and a consultant to UNESCO. The Canadian Anthropology Society recognizes her as a founding member and as the initiator of the Women’s Network.
Her MA thesis was based on fieldwork with the class of BSN 1959 on their first encounter with nursing practice at Vancouver General Hospital. In recent years she has interviewed members of the same class in their retirement. For two years she served as a counselor and lecturer in social science at the VGH School of Nursing. From 1960-68, together with two colleagues, she studied nursing education and the nursing class of 1963 at the University of California, San Francisco. Funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health, the research was known as the Nursing Careers Project and resulted in a book, Silent Dialogue, and numerous articles on student culture. Her other research interests are ethics, qualitative methodology, the self, sociology of knowledge, tourism and indigenous intellectual property rights.
She has been awarded the Weaver-Tremblay Award for Distinguished Service, the Lifetime Achievement Award, and an honorary doctorate.
MA. (UBC), PhD (Berkeley), LLD (UBC)