My generative term for this week is “Grounded Theory (GT).” This term was used in Dr. Muth’s paper “Murals as text” and I was curious about its meaning and whether or not it could be helpful in our 1-2-3 Projects. A Google search of the Internet resulted in two findings I felt were worth blogging about. The first a briefing on ground theory and the second an article on “The Future of Ground Theory.”
The briefing was developed by a Dr Lynn Calman (University of Manchester, England), titled “What is Grounded Theory.” http://www.methods.manchester.ac.uk/events/whatis/gt.pdf The briefing states that GT may be defined as “the discovery of theory from data systematically obtained from social research” (Glaser and Strauss 1967: 2). The briefing goes on to provide the history and development of GT, its features, data collection methods, etc. Due to due to the requirement in our 1-2-3 Project, Part 3: Discussion Paper, the slides on “Theoretical Sensitivity” caught my attention. Key extracts from the slides are:
· Researchers will become theoretically sensitive by immersing themselves in the data and trying to understand what the participants see as being significant and important.
· Concurrent data collection/analysis allows the researcher to become theoretically sensitive to the data.
· Finally, Glaser and Strauss (1967) indicate that theoretical sampling is the process of data collection for generating theory whereby the analyst jointly collects, codes, and analyses his (her) data and decides what data to collect next and where to find them, in order to develop theory as it emerges (Glaser and Strauss 1967: 45).
In Part 3: Discussion Paper, we are required to “theorize the findings from and conclusions to your mini study. This theory work should be based on readings and generative themes from the course, and authors should be cited appropriately.” Sounds like the ground theory method could help fulfill this requirement?
Last but not least, I also found the article “The Future of Ground Theory” by Barney G. Glaser very insightful. http://groundedtheoryreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/GT-Review-vol-9-no-21.pdf
Glaser is one of two sociologist credited with the development of the Ground Theory method. Published in the “The Grounded Theory Review,” Dr. Glaser elaborates on many aspects of ground theory to include the fact that this methodology typically attracts “experienced practitioners seeking a better understanding of the social patterns that underpin the behaviors they encounter in their work – those high impact access and controllable variables (Glaser & Strauss, pp.245-249) that suggest better ways to mobilize often scarce resources to resolving issues or leveraging opportunities.” As a practitioner, this statement really resonated with me and I am attracted to GT’s inductive/"bottom up" approach to theory development.