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Constructivist Research Method: Understanding the Resilience of a Marginalized Sampaguita Growing Community in the Philippines

By: , & Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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I conducted field immersions in 2008 to identify a PhD research problem. My in-depth interviews focused on the livelihood of sampaguita growers in the Philippines. My interactions and observations in the field revealed that resilience to livelihood risks is a salient social construction in the “life world” of sampaguita growers. I used a grounded theory method to understand the development processes of resilience from the perspective of the insiders in their natural setting. The studied life and research method emerged during the research process rather than being preconceived.

The constructivist paradigm that underlies the grounded theory method of my research acknowledges that multiple perspectives about the studied phenomenon exist. This compelled me to make a commitment to rigorously gather data and reflexively interpret the conceptually dense lived experiences to produce a grounded theory on resilience development. In the course of the research, methodological and situational problems arose. In this case study, I expound the particular challenges in using emergent methods of data gathering, coding narrative data and theoretical sampling. There was complexity in making theoretical analysis that makes connections about the conditions, actions, interactions, and consequences of the resilience categories I constructed. The task of grounding the analytical connections in their temporal, cultural, structural, and environmental contexts required diligent scrutiny. Understanding the contextual differences in lived experiences of the marginalized sampaguita growing community was a crucial process in developing the grounded theory of resilience.

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