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The Grounded Type of Sociological Theory

Some Methodological Reflections

Igor Hanzel

The book analyzes the methods used in the construction of the grounded type of sociological theory. It provides an overview of examples of qualitative research which are used for delineating the principal characteristics of methods employed in the construction of the grounded type of theory. Subject to explication are the characteristics of concepts, categories, and properties of categories employed in this type of theory, as well as the main steps involved in the construction of a grounded type of theory. These steps are explicated by applying the modern logical and methodological treatment of induction, deduction, and abduction.

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Abstract

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The aim of this study is to analyze the methods used in the construction of the grounded type of sociological theory which is currently a widely used form of the qualitative direction in sociological research. It starts with an overview of three examples of qualitative research: The social loss of a dying patient, Awareness of Dying, and Deviance disavowal, the first two being classics in grounded theory. These examples then serve the purpose of delineating the principal characteristics of methods employed in the construction of the grounded type of theory. Next, the text explicates the characteristics of concepts, categories, and properties of categories employed in that type of theory, as well as the main steps involved in the construction of a grounded type of theory based on concepts, categories, and properties of categories. What follows is an explication, utilizing the approach of modern logic and methodology, of the nature of deduction, induction, and abduction, the last two – as is claimed very often by grounded theory representatives – being involved in the construction of the grounded type of theory. Finally, an attempt is made at a resolution of the dispute between the so-called qualitative and qualitative approaches to sociology.

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