The course is designed for those wanting to understand and to apply the grounded theory approach to the collection and analysis of qualitative data. It will provide a step-by-step guide to those new to the field. Because grounded theory is essentially an inductive approach the course is most suitable for those who have not yet begun, or are in the early stages of, data collection. However, those with previously-collected data will also find the course useful for application at the analysis stage as well as for future projects. We will be using the approach developed by Strauss and Corbin and, more recently, by Kathy Charmaz, and will draw on examples from the fields of social science. The course is applied and practical. Participants will (in groups) employ techniques of initial open, focused, and theoretical coding; memo writing; and development of categories.
- Background – Glaser versus Strauss
- Data gathering
- Theoretical Sampling
- Theory and Writing
Grounded theory consists of systematic yet flexible guidelines for the collection and analysis of data to construct theory grounded in those data. By the end of the course participants will: be able to recognise and describe an applied grounded theory approach, and distinguish its positivist and constructivist developments; be enabled to carry out rich data collection and analysis in line with grounded theory approaches; have experience in coding, memo writing, and grounded theory construction.
Karen O'Reilly is Professor of Sociology at Loughborough University. She has taught ethnographic and qualitative methods for many years, including the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Collection and Analysis, and the Swiss Summer School in Social Science Methods, in Lugano. She is a highly experienced ethnographer and author of two widely cited books on the subject: Ethnographic Methods (Routledge, 2nd ed. 2012) and Key Concepts in Ethnography (Sage, 2009). In Ethnographic Methods she has specifically drawn attention to the compatibility of grounded theory approaches with ethnographic analysis.
This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme