A Journey Through Classic Grounded Theory: Exploring the Work of Grassroots Violence Prevention Practitioners


Classic grounded theory involves the generation of a theory from data, while remaining open to the ideas emergent from the data in question. This case study details a classic grounded theory study into countering violent extremism practitioners. After providing some context for the study in question, this case study details the significant elements that mark a grounded theory study (here specifically a classic grounded theory as opposed to another version of grounded theory), in particular coding, constant comparison, theoretical sampling, and memo writing. Outlining the ways in which these procedures were approached in this study, some of the difficulties along the way are also considered. Ultimately, grounded theory offers a creative, open, and flexible set of procedures for a researcher to follow. It is focused on participant perspectives, conceptualizing rather than describing their main concern and the manner in which they go about resolving this concern. As such, it moves beyond individual perspectives to the identification of underlying patterns, raising these perspectives to an abstract level of conceptualization. It is the benefits of grounded theory, its openness in particular, that can cause difficulties for the novice researcher. Some of these are detailed here, along with practical advice and suggestions for dealing with these issues.

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