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Grounded Theory

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Developed by two sociologists Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss developed since 1960s. The general goal of the GT research is to construct theories in order to understand phenomena. GT relies on the inductive discovery of theory grounded in systematically analyzed data to check the hypothetico-deductive practice. The basic idea of the grounded theory approach is read and re-read a textual database (such as a corpus of field notes) and "discover" or label variables (called categories, concepts and properties) and their interrelationships. Grounded theory is a systematic qualitative research methodology in the field of social sciences emphasizing generation of theory from data in the process of conducting research. GT somewhat appear to be in contradiction of the scientific research because data collection methods are the first step rather than hypothesis formulation, hence called emergent research. From the collected data, key points are marked with series of codes, codes are grouped into similar concepts in order to make them workable, from concepts categories are formed, these are the basis of the creation of theory.

Features of good grounded theory: 1. Constant comparison 2. Inductively derived from data (go from general to specific) 3. Subjected to theoretical elaboration 4. Judged adequate to its domain with respect to a number of evaluative criteria 5. Should fit to the phenomenon Steps of GT Research: 1. Statement of the problem: • Research question must be open and general rather than specific 2. Understand the research situation


• GT sets out to find what theory accounts for the research situation as it is • GT is responsive to the situation in which the research is done • GT is driven by the data in such a way that the final shape of the theory is likely to provide a good fit to the situation 3. Data Collection • Interview • Observation • Conversation • FGD • GFA (Group Feedback Analysis) 4. Data Analysis • Coding (after saturation cease coding) • Concepts • Categories (Core category is that having high frequency hence may be hazardous if choose early of the research) • Sub-categories (treated as properties) • Theory Four Stages of Analysis:
Stage Purpose


key points of the data to be gathered, result of the comparison (data with data)


Collections of codes of similar content that allows the data to be grouped


Roughly equivalent to theme or variables, Broad groups of similar concepts that are used to generate a theory


A collection of explanations that explain the subject of the research


5. Report Writing


Judgmental Tools of GT Validity itself is not so large judgmental tool of GT. It is not a major issue. Glaser & Strauss point out following as judgmental tools of GT: Fit: Fit has to do with how closely concepts fit with the incidents they are representing, and this is related to how thoroughly the constant comparison of incidents to concepts was done. Relevance: A relevant study deals with the real concern of participants, evokes "grab" (captures the attention) and is not only of academic interest. Workability: The theory works when it explains how the problem is being solved with much variation. Modifiability: A modifiable theory can be altered when new relevant data is compared to existing data. A GT is never right or wrong, it just has more or less fit, relevance, workability and modifiability. What makes GT differ from others methods? • GT go from general to specific • All is data, that means what researchers get during the course of study is data • No pre-research literature review • Most of the research go through either inductive or deductive, but according to Charles Sander Pierce GT is neither inductive nor deductive. It is mixed of both coined by Charles as abductive reasoning (it allows inferring 'a' as an explanation of 'b' and 'b' have multiple possible explanation. For e.g. Let we say A is illiterate because he is poor. It is nor sure that only the poverty is a cause of his

illiteracy. There may more possible way to explain his cause of illiteracy). • Hypothesis setting is not always mandatory.