25th May 2011 at 2:33 pm #3446Jaqui LongMember
Hi – just joined this forum and have a question:
Most of the reading I’ve done about GT seems to be either taking a constructivist (-ish) position or a positivist (-ish) position, whereas I’m coming from a broadly critical realist perspective. Has anyone come across anyone writing about GT from this, or a similar philosophical position? I’d be interested to hear. Thanks.25th May 2011 at 3:02 pm #3458
why not just stay open and see what you find? The advantage of using classical Grounded Theory (GT as originated by Glaser and Strauss) is that there are no preconceptions. It is conceptual in nature therefore encourages researchers to view data as it is and not from a particular perspective. Classical GT seeks to find out what are the issues from the perspective of participants. I know that from a post-modernist point of view it is common to think of GT as originated as positivist, but in my extensive reading of GT I am far from convinced of this.25th May 2011 at 3:36 pm #3457Glen GatinMember
Dr. Andrews said it best.
Gibson’s chapter in the Sage Handbook provided a source of data for Glaser’s analysis in his fascinating work Jargonizing. Glaser seems to suggest that the selectivity necessary to focus on the “critical” aspect of data amounts to QDA worrisome accuracy description (p.19-20).Gibson, B. (2008). Accommodating Critical Theory. Sage Handbook of Grounded Theory (pp. 436-453). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.Glaser, B. G. (2009). Jargonizing: Using the grounded theory vocabulary. Sociology Press.25th May 2011 at 3:40 pm #3456
I am aware of Barry Gibson’s writings. Within classical GT, critical theory may be considered a theoretical code if relevant. If approaching GT from a critical theory perspective then one is already preconceived. It will emerge if relevant.1st July 2011 at 3:15 pm #3455
in classical GT (as originated by Glaser), there is no “perspective” just data. He says to just let the data speak for themselves. The job of the researcher is to look for patterns of behaviour as to how people resolve or process their main concern. In other words, look for the main problem people are experiencing and analyse how they deal with it. A concept is only a concept, neither right or wrong! In GT a concept is simply the naming of a pattern of behaviour. For example, if participants report that in dealing with a loved one with an acute illness they do the following: cry, get angry, become upset, etc. these could be conceptualised as “emotional displays”, the naming of a pattern. I hope this makes sense!22nd August 2011 at 2:47 pm #3454
And critical theory would say that DATA never speaks for itself. What is paraded as DATA often has hidden political agendas (a problematic word in itself). I started with the assumption of “Unto the things themselves” but as the politics of research progressed it unraveled my simplistic view of the TRUTH too. Sorry for the critical note about critical theory25th August 2011 at 1:35 pm #3453bernard smithParticipant
@ Dr Mathai baker Fenn: I am not sure that I understand how your comment is a poke at critical theory. Isn’t it a poke at classical GT? Nothing speaks for itself. And, doesn’t the suggestion offered by grounded theorists that what you obtain when you use grounded theory is unencumbered data and that such data speak for themselves about the very nature of reality point to troubling positivist understandings of the world? Kathy Charmaz and others seem to provide a more nuanced approach to GT that does not begin or end in a postivism.25th August 2011 at 1:55 pm #3452
You are right. My bad. I meant it as a poke FROM critical theory. I am sorry for the mistake. Today one of my research students asked me how to achieve OBJECTIVITY. I told him “BE AN OBJECT” for a start…..as long as you are a human SUBJECT, objectivity will elude you.26th August 2011 at 9:43 pm #3451Glen GatinMember
Not sure I want to get in the middle of a happy poke fest, aka “rhetorical wrestle” (Glaser, 1998) but I would like to focus attention to a couple of features of classic grounded theory. Glaser has written on the problem of forcing data into predetermined categories and the issues of conceptual and logical elaboration. He also refers to the various types of data, baseline, properline, interpreted and vague data. If political agendas are a feature of the data, the classic GTM analytic process will detect them.
Glaser (2002) wrote about the preconception that is entailed in theoretical perspectives such as critical theory or constructivism.Glaser, B. G. (1998). Doing Grounded Theory: Issues and Discussions. Mill Valley California: Sociology Press.26th August 2011 at 10:20 pm #3450bernard smithParticipant
I guess I am not convinced that GT (classic or otherwise) will detect the ideas that we all take for granted.It is one thing to “force” data into “predetermined” categories, but what happens if we ask subjects their gender? Are we not forcing data into predetermined categories if we assign everyone to either male or female? Are there only two genders? But how uncomfortable would most practitioners of GT be about that? Why isn’t a taken for granted category not a predetermined category?29th August 2011 at 11:30 am #3449Helen ScottParticipant
That you are not convinced is absolutely fine. You don’t need to be convinced and as contributors to a forum on the grounded theory process, we don’t need to convince you… which leaves us free to enjoy the differences.
As I understand GT, if the sex of participants is relevant, then this will emerge. The same with other ‘face sheet’ data such as age. For instance in my study of adult online learners, the age and sex of a person mattered less than their ‘personal commitment structures’, their structure points and whether these structure points were more or less fixed, which impacted on an individual’s oppportunity to juggle their commitments and find the time to… do whatever. For adult online distance learners, their ability to find the time to study impacted on the probability that they would be able to persist with their learning.
Interestingly, in my experience,’face sheet’ data like gender and sex obscured patterns – for example, qualitative data using categories of age bundled up those with tighter commitment structures with those with looser ones; the statistic of the 20 year old spouse with two children and a part time job being in the same group as the single teenager living with parents. Similarly what mattered was the temporal integration strategies a person used, rather than whether the person employing the strategy was male or female.
GT researchers seek indicators for concepts and sometimes a person’s sex is relevant and sometimes it isn’t.
Helen29th August 2011 at 11:39 am #3448
I love the use of the word WE in the text above! 🙂 Ok ok i guess I have said MY two bits and i really can’t think of anything more to say… so I will just read.29th August 2011 at 11:42 am #3447Helen ScottParticipant
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