670-11 Limits to Grounded Theory in Urban Research

Category: Education

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Grounded theory systematizes an approach to qualitative research. But most researchers only partially use it. What are its limitations and how is it best utilized?


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Limits to Grounded Theory in Urban Research:

Limits to Grounded Theory in Urban Research A grounded theory is one that is inductively derived from the study of the phenomena it represents (Strauss and Corbin, 1998:23 )

The Process prompts theory discovery:

The Process prompts theory discovery The most popular approach in qualitative research Social, psychological, educational Data collection and analysis proceed simultaneously Analyze before you finish your data collection


Inductive Don’t start with a hypothesis & test it Create new theory from data Theoretical sampling depends on what kinds of people your theoretical ideas. It refines, elaborates and exhausts theoretical categories Systematic application of grounded theory analytic methods will lead to more abstract analytic levels ( Charmez 1983: 125)

Key Methodological Approach:

Key Methodological Approach Reflective reading of the notes and texts Developing a Data Base Application of Codes Integration into themes Development of Theory

Quality of a Data Base? :

Quality of a Data Base? Did you use the vacuum cleaner method – best put your data into the garbage bin then? Criteria – which data is more significant? Good ? appropriate? Do more with less data? Analysis is base don having good data, and enough of it.

Which is Qualitative Analysis?:

Which is Qualitative Analysis? Analysis: probing papers, annotating, describing, integrating into theory, scribbling, seeing things from different angles, cutting it up, laying it out in order. Or, Coding into boxes, numbering them, sorting them, logically adjusting them, labeling them, resorting, adding more numbers

Don’t become too formalized.:

Don’t become too formalized. Use the tools that help you think. Qualitative data analysis is not coding. Human words are not numbers to be calculated – this is qualitative.

Contextual or decomposed into meaninglessness:

Contextual or decomposed into meaninglessness “Practices of formalization” (Pascale, 2011, p 17), such as coding that are supposed to guarantee rigor and validity, but instead encourage the “ decontextualization and fragmentation of interview discourse into “ codable elements” ( Nespor & Barylske , 1991, p 810).

Finding Themes when None Exist:

Finding Themes when None Exist If you think you will fid a theme, you probably will

Coding exhaustion:

Coding exhaustion Too exhausted from months of coding to theorize at all. Analysis Paralysis (for phlegmatics ) : Theories can go in a score of directions

Post-coding analysis:

Post-coding analysis There is no particular method Borrow concepts Invent approaches Create new approaches Post-coding is non-technique, non-method, non-repeatable It occurs in the middle of things, without a beginning or end, without origin or destination.


Diffraction Coding takes us back to what is known But maybe it simply diffracts the initial theories into new configurations


References?? Corbin, J.M. & Strauss, A.L. (2008) Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory . Thousand Oaks: Sage. 3 rd Edition. Gray. . Doing Research in the Real World , 3 rd Edn . Charmaz , Kathy. (2014) . Grounded theory in Global Perspective: Reviews by International Researchers . Qualitative Inquiry. November 2014. vol 20 no. 9. pg.1074-1084. Elizabeth A St Pierre & Alecia Y. Jackson. 2004. Qualitative Data Analysis After Coding . Qualitative Inquiry. November 2014. Vol 20(6) pg. 715-719.

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