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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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3. Construction of a Grounded Type of Theory

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3. Construction of a Grounded Type of Theory

In this part I explicate the steps employed in the construction of the grounded type of theory as well as the characteristics of concepts, categories, and properties of categories employed in this construction.

In (Glaser – Strauss 1967) the authors gave a characterization of the methods employed in the generation of the grounded type of theory. The starting point of this characterization is the reflection on the situation they actually faced in the mid-1960s in the literature on methods applied in sociology which they viewed as “concerned with how accurate facts can be obtained and how theory can thereby be more rigorously tested” (Glaser – Strauss 1967, 1). Their own aim, as an alternative to this, is to “address … to the equally important enterprise of how the discovery of theory from data can … be furthered. We believe that the discovery of theory from data—which we call grounded theory—is a major task confronting sociology today” (1967, 1).3

So, the term “grounded theory” refers according to Glaser and Strauss not only to a product of research, but also to a process of “discovery of theory from data systematically obtained from social research … Our basic position is that generating grounded theory is a way of arriving at theory suited to its supposed uses” (1967, 2–3).←23 | 24→

Among the uses of grounded theory they list the following (1967, 3):

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