GT possible with secondary research?

Home Forums Default Forum GT possible with secondary research?

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #1298
    Alice MacGillivray

    My only experiences with grounded theory have been based on new research (interviews, observation, and so on).  If one uses common GT practices and analysis methods but using publicly available data, is it appropriate to call this grounded theory?  

    If you don’t think it is GT, how might you describe it? 

    Thank you,

    Alice MacGillivray


    Hello, Alice.

    My take on your question would go back to the concept that ‘all is data”. So you have data that has been analyzed for a different purpose, or that has not been analyzed perhaps according to GT, but is in the public domain. i don’t see why you couldn’t use GT to analyze it and see what is going on in the data. Who knows? If you give it a whirl, or not,. i would be interested to hear what you decide.

    With my best regards, and good luck,


    bernard smith

    Why would publicly available data not be grist for GT analysis. To offer a kind of trite example, if I were interested in analyzing how media presents “stress” or “obesity” then why would the fact that the material was published on TV or in magazines or newspapers or in chat forums and the like restrict my analysis. And if it doesn’t restrict my analysis and I applied GT why should such analysis not be called GT?

    Alice MacGillivray

    Thank you Paul and Bernard (and I see several others have viewed the conversation and presumably support your perspectives).  I agree but am not a GT expert so came to this community to check.  I don’t have immediate plans to do secondary research with GT, but noticed the term used this way by a previous administrator in a program I oversee, and I thought if it raised questions for me, it would for others as well.  

    All the best with your research.


    bernard smith

    Indeed, David Silverman has long argued that “naturally produced” data rather than the artifice of so-called data resulting from interviews are what we should be focusing on

    Glen Gatin

    Hi Alice,

    I met Robert Stebbins at a GTM workshop that Paul Wishart hosted in Calgary a few years ago. The workshop was a fabulous experience for me as a new GTM analyst at the time.

    I found Robert’s idea of chaining together related grounded theories to be very promising.

    Stebbins, R. A. (1992). Concatenated exploration: notes on a neglected type of longitudinal research. Quality and Quantity, 26(4), 435–442. doi:10.1007/BF00170454
Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • The forum ‘Default Forum’ is closed to new topics and replies.