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 Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Loughborough University and a Freelance Researcher. She has taught ethnographic and qualitative methods for over 25 years, including the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Collection and Analysis, the Swiss Summer School in Social Science Methods, in Lugano; at the Universities of Aberdeen, Essex, Loughborough and Oxford; and in Germany, Norway and Hong Kong. Her experience also includes being a Member of the Advisory Board of the NCRM biannual Research Methods Festival 2011-2012; and a member of the ESRC Peer Review College 2012 = 2016.
Karen is a highly experienced ethnographer whose many publications include two widely cited books on ethnography: Ethnographic Methods (Routledge, 2nd ed. 2012) and Key Concepts in Ethnography (Sage, 2009). She has also been instrumental in the design and evaluation of Masters level Research Methods courses and programmes in a number of universities. Karen provides short courses for the SRA on a regular basis.
This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme