The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research

Transaction Publishers
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Most writing on sociological method has been concerned with how accurate facts can be obtained and how theory can thereby be more rigorously tested. In The Discovery of Grounded Theory, Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss address the equally Important enterprise of how the discovery of theory from data—systematically obtained and analyzed in social research—can be furthered. The discovery of theory from data—grounded theory—is a major task confronting sociology, for such a theory fits empirical situations, and is understandable to sociologists and laymen alike. Most important, it provides relevant predictions, explanations, interpretations, and applications. In Part I of the book, "Generation Theory by Comparative Analysis," the authors present a strategy whereby sociologists can facilitate the discovery of grounded theory, both substantive and formal. This strategy involves the systematic choice and study of several comparison groups. In Part II, The Flexible Use of Data," the generation of theory from qualitative, especially documentary, and quantitative data Is considered. In Part III, "Implications of Grounded Theory," Glaser and Strauss examine the credibility of grounded theory. The Discovery of Grounded Theory is directed toward improving social scientists' capacity for generating theory that will be relevant to their research. While aimed primarily at sociologists, it will be useful to anyone Interested In studying social phenomena—political, educational, economic, industrial— especially If their studies are based on qualitative data.
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About the author

Barney G. Glaser is founder of the Grounded Theory Institute in California, and has also been a research sociologist at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco. He is the author or co-author of several books, including The Grounded Theory Perspective II and Experts versus Laymen: A Study of the Patsy and the Subcontractor, published by AldineTransaction.

Anselm Strauss (1916-1996) was an American medical sociologist and professor at the University of Chicago. He was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1980.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Transaction Publishers
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Published on
Aug 30, 2009
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Pages
271
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ISBN
9780202363370
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Methodology
Social Science / Research
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This bestselling text pioneered the comparison of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research design. For all three approaches, John W. Creswell and new co-author J. David Creswell include a preliminary consideration of philosophical assumptions; key elements of the research process; a review of the literature; an assessment of the use of theory in research applications, and reflections about the importance of writing and ethics in scholarly inquiry.

New to this Edition Updated discussion on designing a proposal for a research project and on the steps in designing a research study. Additional content on epistemological and ontological positioning in relation to the research question and chosen methodology and method. Additional updates on the transformative worldview. Expanded coverage on specific approaches such as case studies, participatory action research, and visual methods. Additional information about social media, online qualitative methods, and mentoring and reflexivity in qualitative methods. Incorporation of action research and program evaluation in mixed methods and coverage of the latest advances in the mixed methods field Additional coverage on qualitative and quantitative data analysis software in the respective methods chapters. Additional information about causality and its relationship to statistics in quantitative methods. Incorporation of writing discussion sections into each of the three methodologies. Current references and additional readings are included in this new edition.
At once a unique textbook for methods courses and a major contribution to sociological theory, this book teaches students the principles of research and how to construct and test theories. It brings coherence to the study of methods by presenting four major approaches to experimentation: survey research, participant observation, life histories, and unobtrusive measures from a single theoretical point of view, symbolic interaction. It demonstrates the need for a synthesis between theory and methods, and shows how different methods limit and aff ect research results.

Denzin's argues that no single method, theory, or observer can capture all that is relevant or important in reality. He argues for the use of triangulation and for a view of theory and methods as "concept sensitizers." His approach enables sociologists to acquire specifi c facts about a particular situation while simultaneously elevating these to the level of shared meaning.

The author shows students how to proceed with research, bringing sharply into focus the possibilities and their limitations. Since his view is integrated rather than eclectic, this is much more than a "how to do it" manual. Denzin points out aspects of research that fall outside the scope of a given method yet aff ect results, and emphasizes the need to employ several methods to cross-check each other. "The Research Act" covers all the content of conventional methods courses. The presentation is exciting and imaginative, and provides a thorough review of major sociological methods, a cogent statement about approaches to sociological inquiry, and a source from which a understanding of the problems of research can be derived.

"Norman K. Denzin" is professor of sociology, cinema studies, and interpretive theory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He was awarded the George Herbert Mead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. He is the author of several books, including "The Alcoholic Society, Children and Their Caretakers, Hollywood Shot by Shot, Sociological Methods" and "The Values of Social Science" all available from Transaction.

Although it has not been his intention to promulgate theory for its own sake, Anselm Strauss has proven himself a formidable theorist. What has prompted this new treatise on human action (or as Strauss would prefer, acting) was a dissatisfaction with the accounts of social phenomena in the received, mainline sociological literature. Derived from the survey and functionalist traditions, such accounts have simplified complexities drastically, and mostly left implicit the underlying action assumptions of their research. Rejecting Parsons and Lazarsfeld as models, Strauss traces the perspective on human action presented in Continual Permutations of Action to a very different tradition, that of the Pragmatists. Strauss's account begins with the concept of trajectory, referring to a course of action but also embracing the interaction of multiple actors and contingencies. Certain Straussian terms and motifs come rapidly into play in the earlier sections, where he maps out his account: conditional matrix, temporality, and the like. The later sections are given over to major topics, including work and its relations with other forms of action; the body; thought processes; symbolizing; social worlds and arenas; representation; the interplay of routine and creative action; and the relevance of the concept of social worlds to understanding the interplay of several levels of social order in contemporary society. Extending the limits of interactionist theory, Strauss has raised questions about interpreting social phenomena that will be debated for some time to come.
Professions, Work and Careers addresses some of the central themes that preoccupied the eminent sociologist Anselm Strauss. This collection is directed at sociologists concerned with the development of theory and graduate and undergraduate students in the sociology of work and the sociology of medicine. His approach is both thematic and topical.

Straus examines organization, profession, career, and work, in addition to related matters such as socialization, occupational identity, social mobility, and professional relationships, all in a social psychological context. Because medicine is considered by many to be the prototype profession, Strauss effectively illustrates many of the points by allusion to nurses, chemists, hospitals, wards, and terminal care. The progression of ideas in these essays are a befitting source for the study of structure, interaction and process, other themes that occupied Strauss in his other research enterprises.

As Irving Louis Horowitz noted at the time of Anselm Strauss's death in 1996: "Anselm was and remained a social psychologist of a special sort. He appreciated that what takes place in the privacy of our minds translates into public consequences for the social fabric. His statements on personal problems are invariably followed in quick succession by intensely sociological essays on close awareness, face-to-face interaction, and structured interactions. The subtext distinguishes sociological from psychiatric conventions, seeing everything from daydreams to visions in interactionist frames rather than as pathology. The implications of his explorations into the medical profession are stated gently, but carry deep ramifications, for the act of people treating each other compassionately, not less than professionally, is also an act of awareness. Treating the human person as a creature of dignity, when generalized, becomes the basis for constructing human society."

The late Anselm Strauss was a pioneer in bridging the gap between theory and data in sociology. This collection of his works, available in paperback for the first time, will be a valuable resource for professionals and students interested in grounded social theory.

Anselm L. Strauss was professor of sociology and chairman of the graduate program in sociology, University of California, San Francisco. He is the author of numerous books including Creating Sociological Awareness and editor of Where Medicine Fails, both published by Transaction.
Although sociologists have written extensively on the broad subject of occupational careers, generally they have referred only incidentally to organizational careers within work organizations. In this pioneering sourcebook, now considered a classic, Glaser gathered from the literature of occupational sociology those studies that bear most directly on organizational careers. His objective was to provide the first survey of the substantial body of data on the subject and to place this data in a framework that illustrates its significance for the development of theory.

In an extensive introduction, the editor explains the several purposes of the book and describes in detail the process of comparative analysis through which sociological theory on organizational careers can be generated. Organized around general themes such as recruitment, motivation, commitment, mobility, and succession, the writings of prominent sociologists--including Riesman, Caplow, Hughes, Becker, and Wilensky--form the content of the book and systematically cover every important facet of organizational careers. The editor's introductions to each section of the book alert the reader to the general phenomena--such as processes, conditions, categories, hypotheses, and properties--that crosscut and are generally relevant to all organizational careers and are, therefore, the raw material of theory. These introductions also suggest questions and problems for further analysis and research.

This book as a whole stands as a demonstration of the contributors' method of how the sociologist, working from the data of research, can generate grounded, formal theory on this or any social phenomenon. This book also presents a vital body of data on organizational careers and a guide to further research that will be of great use both to occupational sociologists and to all those involved in the study of organizations.

Barney G. Glaser is the founder of the Grounded Theory Institute in Mill Valley, California, and has also been a research sociologist at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Grounded Theory Perspective II, Experts versus Laymen, Time for Dying, and The Discovery of Grounded Theory.

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