Welcome to Grounded Theory Process

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    Glen Gatin

    We are starting this group to share information about the process of doing grounded theory. Grounded Theory is the method of discovering explanatory theory from the systematic analysis of data developed by Dr. Barney Glaser and Dr. Anselm Strauss. 


    My mentor has suggested that I take a look at GT and I have no idea what it is. I have purchased Kathy Charmaz’s book to get a feel of it but I really would like something that points out the basics for a beginner. Thoughts?

    Glen Gatin

    Hi Ila,
    There are a number of versions of grounded theory and some approaches that are termed grounded theory but which are actually something else.I would recommend that you read the original works of Glaser and Strauss and subsequently Glaser.
    At least 3 texts are essential reading.

    Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory. New York: Aldine de Grutyer.
    Glaser, B. G. (1978). Theoretical sensitivity. Sociology Press Mill Valley, Calif.
    Glaser, B. G. (1998). Doing Grounded Theory: Issues and Discussions. Mill Valley California: Sociology Press.

    Another text which offers a much broader survey of topics in grounded theory is

    Bryant, A., & Charmaz, K. (2007). The SAGE Handbook of Grounded Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.

    I’ve read the Charmaz book and I met her in Banff a few years ago. She signed my copy of her book, Constructivist Grounded Theory and was very impressive in presentation.

    Dr. Glaser still teaches the original classic Grounded Theory method and publishes regularly on related topics.

    Glaser wrote a response the the idea of Constructivist Grounded theory

    Glaser, B. (2002). Constructivist Grounded Theory? Forum Qualitative Social Research, 3(3). which is available at http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/825.

    Most recently, Glaser published
    Glaser, B. G. (2009). Jargonizing: Using the grounded theory vocabulary. Sociology Press.

    This monograph was generated from a very interesting grounded theory analysis of the various chapters of the Sage Handbook of Grounded Theory.


    Hi Glen,
    I really appreciate the response and the book recommendations for which I will purchase. I too met Kathy at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (QI2010) this past May but this was before I knew I was going to be looking into this subject (smile). She was very nice. Well I have a lot of reading to do and will see where it leads me. Have you by chance read Adele Clarke: Situational Analysis: Grounded Theory After the Postmodern Turn?

    Thanks Much

    Glen Gatin

    Yes, I met Adele at the same Banff conference and she signed my book ;>) Also very impressive and I really like the notion of situational maps . I am a big fan of concepts maps, particularly online collaborative applications. I use Mindmeister to organize and present.

    A book was developed from the Banff conference which introduces readers to the perspectives of a number of people interested in grounded theory. You may find it useful down the road.

    Morse, J. M., Stern, P. N., Corbin, J. M., Bowers, B., Clarke, A. E., & Charmaz, K. C. (2009). Developing Grounded Theory: The Second Generation. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.

    I went to a workshop with Phylis Stern one time and she interviewed me to demonstrate the process of GT interviewing. Very powerful!


    I’ve been wondering how to implement those situational maps effectively – I’m having a little trouble thinking about how to do it in a  way that isn’t just me randomly finding things and making assumptions about them when I put them on the map.  In other words, they may be just a bit too messy for me – how do I structure that part of the analysis? 


    I would welcome more ideas and conversation, and would be glad to hear from others with guidance to offer.

    Glen Gatin

    Hi Mary,

    Situational analysis is not really a classic grounded theory technique. You might get more useful feedback from one of the other Sage sites dedicated to Qualitative Data Analysis.


    Thanks Glen, I’ll do that.   I would love to see more of how Dr.Clarke did her analysis with those maps – did she present or write more on that that you’re aware of?  I’ve read “Gt after Postmodern turn” and Phyllis Stern’s book, but still feel that the process is in need of more explanation.


    I contacted this theory in 2009 during my master thesis and thought it very important in the contexts of everyday perception in various social situations. But the university where I work, not much is known about the theory, I am planning to make a ppt communication for students and teachers. my main literature is Kathy Charmaz’s book.




    Glen Gatin

    Hi Dulce, 

    As this group is dedicated to classic grounded theory, I would encourage you to read the works of classic grounded theorists beginning with Glaser and Strauss and more recently Glaser. See references above. Glaser continues to apply and develop the method he originated and publishes regularly. 

    Glen Gatin

    Hi Mary.

    Dr Clarke mostly read from her book at the presentation I attended. Amazingly, she was able to cover most of the book! 

    I haven’t continued to follow her work too closely but her website has an excellent list of her current publications, including a retrospective article on Anselm Strauss that I am currently trying to track down. http://nurseweb.ucsf.edu/www/ffclara.htm


    Dear Glen


    Thanks for the advice.




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