interview with Schatzman, QFR Page 3 of 7
Recently, Strauss, in collaboration with Juliet Corbin (Corbin, 1991; Strauss, 1987;Strauss & Corbin, 1990), has suggested the use of matrices to organize the elements of theanalysis. They, too, recognized the advantages of articulating some of the tacit processes of doing grounded theory analysis.
Some Pitfalls of Working Within the Grounded Theory Tradition
In his advising of students on their dissertation research, Schatzman found several typesof misapplication of grounded theory analysis. Some imposed “received” theories on data rather than fostering the gradual emergence of ideas. Others technically followed the procedures of grounded theory but developed results which did not add to theoretical understandings.Some made premature commitments to codes (concepts) which had unexamined levels of abstraction and little integration among them, and still others appeared to be respondingintuitively to their field experiences and did not make convincing links between procedures, data,and theory. Finally, some students gave up.
Students Who Do Well with Procedures of Grounded Theory Analysis
Students do a superior piece of work “when it is relevant to theoretical constructions intheir fields,” Schatzman said. Relevance means “you can order an existing theory, refute it, or force its modification. One of the three is your fate.” If the theory can't do this, “you've failed.”Mainly students who are “accepting of indeterminate realities and plural perspectives” do wellwith processes of grounded theory analysis, Schatzman (l991, p. 306) wrote in a chapter in a book honoring Strauss.
Strauss was Schatzman's Teacher and Then his Colleague
Leonard Schatzman was Strauss's first graduate student. After receiving his Ph.D. at theUniversity of Chicago in 1945, with Ernest Burgess as his advisor, Strauss was an assistant professor at Indiana University. Schatzman had received his bachelor's degree in history atIndiana and, while still in uniform after being demobilized from the U.S. Army, he went to visithis history profs. Edwin Sutherland, a sociological criminologist, noticed him as he “waswandering through the halls of sociology thinking of going to California to study psychiatricsocial work.” Sutherland asked to interview him about G.I.'s and the black market. After threehours of conversation, Sutherland offered him an assistantship in sociology.Schatzman turned him down and went to California, but he could not get into schoolthere because of residency requirements. So, he took Sutherland up on his offer. He learnedsociology mainly from Strauss. “I read and talked to Strauss about it,” he said. “I was never intrigued with sociology until I bought the pragmatic-interactionism that Strauss brought to me.”Strauss and Schatzman parted for a time, Schatzman to teach at Coe College in Cedar Rapids,Iowa, and Strauss to the University of Chicago. Several years passed and Strauss askedSchatzman to join him in Chicago on a three-year study of psychiatric institutions.
Developing the Theory of Negotiated Order
“The theory of negotiated order (Strauss, Schatzman, Bucher, Ehrlich, & Sabshin, 1962)