Introduction to Grounded Theory: A Social Constructionist Approach

This class introduces grounded theory methods from a social constructionist approach to new and experienced qualitative researchers. You will gain practical guidelines for handling data analysis, a deeper understanding of the logic of grounded theory, and strategies for increasing the theoretical power and reach of your work. I treat grounded theory as a set of flexible guidelines to adopt, alter, and fit particular research problems, not to apply mechanically. With these guidelines, you expedite and systematize your research. Moreover, using grounded theory sparks fresh ideas about your data.

The sessions cover an overview of basic guidelines and hands-on exercises. I offer ideas about data gathering and recording to help you obtain nuanced, rich data. We discuss relationships between qualitative coding, developing analytic categories and generating theory and attend to specific grounded theory strategies of coding, memo-writing, theoretical sampling, and using comparative methods. You will receive guided practice in using each analytic step of the grounded theory method.

If you have collected some qualitative data, do bring a completed interview, set of fieldnotes, or document to analyze. If you do not have data yet, we will supply qualitative data for you. If you prefer to use a laptop for writing, bring one, but you can complete the exercises without a computer.