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[An Introduction to Grounded Theory]

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KATHY CHARMAZ: Hello. [Kathy Charmaz, PhD, Professor,Department of Sociology, Sonoma State University]My name is Kathy Charmaz, and I am a professor of sociologyand director of the faculty writing programat Sonoma State University.In this tutorial, I will be introducing the grounded theorymethod, outlining its historical emergenceand defining constructivist grounded theory,a contemporary form of the original method.

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: I will be covering the following main points.[Presentation Topics] The definitionof grounded theory, the emergence of grounded theory,and the constructivist turn in grounded theory.[The definition of grounded theory,The emergence of grounded theory,The constructivist turn in grounded theory]I will start with a short interview excerptand show how to proceed with the analysis.It's important to understand grounded theory,because it has shaped the development

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: of qualitative methods and is the frequently chosen method.[An Interview Excerpt]Now I'm going to talk about an interview excerpt.This quote was said by a woman whohas a very serious cancer and a prognosis that

- 01:16
KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: is not promising.So now she's facing a much shorter life."Whereas I expected to live a ripe old age,I was going to live to 105, it's like now, will I live to 60?Probably?Probably.But I can't take it for granted the way I used to.

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: It's like there's a compactness and a preciousness,and little things have more importance.I don't take things for granted, and it's certainly changedhow I work as a therapist."In grounded theory, we start analyzing our data by coding.So in this example, I'm analyzing the excerpt

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: that we just talked about.[Coding the Excerpt] First, I came upwith facing a shrinking future, relinquishing assumptionsof a long life, seeing preciousness and little things,and changing ways of working. [Facing a shrinking future,Relinquishing assumptions of a long life,Seeing preciousness in little things,Changing ways of working] These arecodes that will get me started on the analysis.[What is grounded theory?]

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: So starting with an initial definition,grounded theory methods consist of a systematic approachto inquiry with several key strategiesfor conducting inquiry. [Grounded Theorymethods: Consist of a systematic approach to inquirywith several key strategies for conducting inquiry]The purpose of grounded theory isto construct new theory for the collected data thataccounts for these data.

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: Grounded theory favors theory construction over description,constructing fresh concepts over applying receivedtheory, theorizing processes over assumingstable structures. [Grounded Theory FavorsTheory construction, over description,Constructing fresh concepts, over applyingreceived theory, Theorizing processes,over assuming stable structures]There are defining features of this method.Grounded theory starts as an inductive method.

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: It's definitely a comparative method.It's an interactive method, because youinteract with the data and with your participantsand then with the analysis as you're developing it.It's iterative, in that you go back and forthbetween data and analysis, data and concepts, your data

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: and the categories that you're developing.Grounded theory is also abductive,in that you may come up with some surprising findingsand then have to think of all possible theoreticalexplanations for these findings that you subsequentlygo and check. [Grounded Theory Features, Inductive,Comparative, Interactive, Iterative, Abductive]The major grounded theory strategies

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: include, first of all, coding which I just talked about.And then we move to memo writing,which is writing about our codes, our analysis,the gaps in our coding.Theoretical sampling is one of the most misunderstood ideasabout grounded theory and strategies. [Grounded TheoryStrategies, Coding, Memo writing, Theoretical sampling]Basically, theoretical sampling means

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: sampling for your key categories.[Theoretical Sampling: Sampling for your key categories]You have to have a tentative theoretical categoryto engage in theoretical sampling.It is not the same as sampling for statusrequirements like gender, age, religion, ethnicity.

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: Those might be important to start with,but those are not theoretical sampling.Theoretical sampling is about categories.And then theoretical sorting and integration dealswith the sorting of your categoriesand how you are putting them together to frame your theory.[Grounded Theory Strategies, Coding, Memo writing,Theoretical sampling, Theoretical sortingand integration][What is the logic of the grounded theory method?]

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: What is the logic of grounded theory?It's an iterative and comparative logic,where you move back and forth between dataand an increasingly abstract analysis.[iterative and comparative logic]And while you're doing that, you engagein these systematic comparisons that I mentioned,of data with data, data with codes, codes with codes,and codes with categories.

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: This is an example of comparing data from the interview excerptthat I just talked about."When I look at the sunset realizeit's really very beautiful I don't think I don't take thingsfor granted.I'm much more in the moment."Here are the codes I derived from comparing data.And you notice that I compared data between data

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: from the same person.You can also compare data from other people,from other situations, from other incidents.But in this case I compared treasuring the momentand living in the moment as the codes.With emerging grounded theory categories,you consider all possible theoretical understandings

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: of the data, and then you construct a tentative category.You gather data to fill out the properties of this category.And then you check the category against new data.[Emerging Grounded Theory Categories,Consider all possible theoretical understandingsof the data, Construct a tentative category, Gatherdata to fill out properties for this category, Checkcategory against new data][Why is grounded theory useful?]Grounded theory offers a conceptual understanding

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: of the studied data.It provides tools for summarizing, synthesizing,and analyzing data.I emphasize analyzing data, because grounded theory isone method that helps you break the data apart and reallylook at it closely, rather than just pulling it together.

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: Grounded theory gives you focus and flexibility.[The Historical Context of Grounded Theory]Now we turn to the historical context, in which Barney Glaserand Anselm Strauss first developedgrounded theory. [Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss]Research methods by 1965 were dominated

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: by quantitative methods.And qualitative research had waned,although there had been such a strong traditionof qualitative research throughout the historyof sociology.Quantitative researchers did impose their criteriaon qualitative research, and of course qualitative research

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: could not adhere to that of those criteria.In 1967, The Discovery of Grounded Theory,Glaser and Strauss's famous book, first appeared.In this book, what did they challenge?Glaser and Strauss disputed a numberof dominant assumptions in quantitative research

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: and in research more generally.First of all, they disputed views of qualitative researchas impressionistic and anecdotal.They also challenged notions of qualitative researchas only a precursor of forming quantitative tools.And they challenged the arbitrary divisionbetween theory and research.

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: [Assumptions of Quantitative Research Disputedby Glaser and Strauss, Views of qualitative researchas impressionistic and anecdotal,Notions of qualitative research as only a precursorof forming quantitative tools, The arbitrary divisionbetween theory and research]Glaser and Strauss disputed the elite control theoryconstruction.They challenged applying canons of quantitative researchto evaluate qualitative research,and they also argued against the descriptive levelof many qualitative studies.[Disputed Assumptions of Quantitative Research,Elite control of theory construction,Applying the canons of quantitative researchto evaluate qualitative research, The descriptive

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: level of qualitative studies][What is constructivist grounded theory?]Constructivist grounded theory preserved strategiesof the original method, such as coding, memo writing,and theoretical sampling, but adoptsa new epistemological foundation and integratesmethodological developments of the past five decades.

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: [Constructivist Grounded Theory, Adoptsa new epistemological foundation,Integrates methodological developments of the past fivedecades]Constructivist grounded theory adopts the abductive, emergent,comparative, an open-ended approachof the original version.It includes Strauss's abductive logic. [abductive logic]It emphasizes action and meaning inherent in pragmatism.Constructivist grounded theory also answers

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: criticisms of the earlier versionsof grounded theory it highlights its flexibilityand resists mechanical applications of the method.[Constructivist Grounded Theory, Emphasizes action and meaninginherent in pragmatism, Answers criticisms of earlier versionsof grounded theory, Highlights flexibility and resistsmechanical applications of the method]Constructivist grounded theory addresses its implicationsfor data collection.[Why has constructivist grounded theory developed?]

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: Constructivist grounded theory places the researcher,the research process, and productin social, historical, cultural, situational,and interactive context.Constructivist grounded theory acknowledges the researcher'ssubjectivity in social positions,and it calls for reflexivity about the process

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: and about one's own decisions.The following figure shows constructing grounded theoryat a glance.The figure shows graphically the stepsthat you use and go through as you're doing grounded theory.It may give you a firmer idea of what I have been talking about,but it summarizes everything I've

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: said in the past few minutes.[Conclusion]To conclude, this presentation gives youa brief overview of grounded theory,the historical context of its emergence,and the constructivist version of the method.For further reading, you can pursue

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: a study of grounded theory in the following three books.My book, Kathy Charmaz, Constructing Grounded Theory.The second edition is much more in-depthand has many more examples.Juliet Corbin and Anselm Strauss,the 2015 Basics of Qualitative Research.,

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KATHY CHARMAZ [continued]: which is their fourth edition, revised by Julie Corbin.And last, but certainly not least,the book that started everything, Barney Glaserand Anselm Strauss, 1967, The Discovery of Grounded Theory.[Further Reading, Charmaz (2014).Constructing grounded theory (2nd ed.).,Corbin & Strauss (2015).Basics of qualitative research (4th ed.).,Glaser & Strauss (1967).The discovery of grounded theory.]

## Video Info

**Publisher:** SAGE Publications Ltd

**Publication Year:** 2017

**Video Type:**Tutorial

**Methods:** Grounded theory, Constructivism

**Keywords:** practices, strategies, and tools

## Segment Info

**Segment Num.:** 1

**Persons Discussed:**

**Events Discussed:**

**Keywords:**

## Abstract

Professor Kathy Charmaz discusses grounded theory and when to use grounded theory methods. Grounded theory is a systematic approach to inquiry with key strategies for conducting inquiry. Charmaz explains the reasons for grounded theory, the history of grounded theory, and constructivist grounded theory.