The role of theory in qualitative research has changed and theory is now understood as a lens through which to interpret qualitative data. This approach has been called “theorizing” qualitative data. Theorizing explicates what can be said from a data set. In theorizing, substantive theories combine with reflection and researcher positionality to yield a reading of the data. Instead of testing theories, researchers use and critique them for their applicability as explanations and interpretations.
Theorizing can be accomplished in various ways. Three common ways are:
Each of these approaches focus on what is not accounted for by the theorizing. By comparing what results from each approach with the theorized account, we can gain or lose confidence in the trustworthiness of the theorized account.
Throughout the workshop, we will engage several exercises to practice theorizing:
There are no prerequisites for this workshop and no prior knowledge of theory is necessary.