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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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2. Three Studies

Extract

2. Three Studies

In this part I provide an overview of three examples of qualitative research.

2.1 The Social Loss of a Dying Patient

In a society a person is valued according to his/her different characteristics, such as age, ethnicity, education, race, family status, personality, accomplishments. A patient dying in a hospital embodies – in the eyes of a nurse – these characteristics, and the degree to which he/she embodies these characteristics is labeled by Glaser and Strauss as social loss of a dying patient. The degree of social loss of a dying patient determines the behavior of the nurse with respect to this patient: her sadness, stress, effort with which she takes care of the dying patient, etc.

When, for example, a society puts a high value on having lived a fulfilled life, then, the death of a child will be viewed by a nurse as a higher loss than that of an aged person who already had her share of life. In addition to age, other characteristics enter into the valuation of a patient’s loss like education, social accomplishments, family status, and so forth. All these characteristics, once they have been acknowledged by the nurses, are labeled by Glaser and Strauss as the patient’s loss story.

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