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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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1. Introduction

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1. Introduction

The aim of this study is to analyze the methods used in the construction of the grounded type of sociological theory. This type is currently a widely used form of the qualitative direction in sociological research, the qualitative direction being understood as research where “mathematical techniques are eschewed or are of minimal use” (Strauss 1987, 2) and whose “findings [are] not arrived at by means of statistical procedures or other means of quantification” (Strauss – Corbin 1990, 17).1

I start with an overview of three examples of qualitative research: The social loss of a dying patient (Glaser – Strauss 1964), Awareness of Dying (Glaser – Strauss 1967), and Deviance disavowal (Davis 1961). These examples will serve the purpose of delineating the principal characteristics of methods employed in the construction of the grounded type of theory. The reason I start with examples of qualitative research is that the grounded type of sociological theory is in fact more than just a theory of social life, namely, a conceptualization of a research method.

Next, I explicate the characteristics of concepts, categories, and properties of categories employed in that type of theory. Then I analyze and reconstruct the main steps involved in the construction of a grounded type of theory as based on concepts, categories and properties of categories.←11 | 12→

What follows is an explication, by employing the approach of modern logic and methodology, of the nature of deduction, induction, and abduction, the last two...

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