Fresh, insightful and clear, this exciting textbook provides an engaging introduction to the application of qualitative methodology in the real world. Expert researchers then trace the history and philosophical underpinnings of different methodologies, explore the specific demands each places upon the researcher and robustly set out relevant issues surrounding quality and rigor. Featured methodologies include action research, discourse analysis, ethnography, grounded theory, case studies and narrative inquiry. This practical book provides a helpful guide to the research process - it introduces the relevant methods of generating, collecting and analysing data for each discrete methodology and then looks at best practice for presenting findings. This enables new researchers to compare qualitative methods and to confidently select the approach most appropriate for their own research projects. Key features include: • Summary table for each chapter - allowing quick checks to test knowledge • ‘Window into’ sections - real world examples showing each methodology in action • Student activities • Learning objectives • Full glossary • Annotated suggestions for further reading • Links to downloadable SAGE articles • Links to relevant websites and organizations This is an invaluable resource for students and researchers across the social sciences and a must-have guide for those embarking on a research project. Visit the accompanying companion website for a range of free additional resources.

Grounded Theory

Jane Mills Melanie Birks Karen Hoare

Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Discuss the historical, philosophical and methodological underpinnings of traditional, evolved and constructivist grounded theory
  • Examine the position of the researcher and its relationship to philosophical and methodological alignment in a grounded theory study
  • Identify various sources of data for use in grounded theory studies
  • Outline the process of analysis used in grounded theory research


This chapter will discuss the history of grounded theory and the various philosophical positions that researchers can assume, which will influence their choice of which package of methodology/methods to adopt. For the purposes of this chapter, we identify three main genres of grounded theory: traditional, evolved and constructivist. ...

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