Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Taking the Tabula Rasa Out of Grounded Theory

Grounded theory is probably the most commonly used method for analysis in qual research but it is based on the assumption that the researcher really can get out of the way, analyse the data clearly, as a theory emerges from the ashes..there are obvious problems here of bias, ones that can are not adequately catered for simply by memoing (bracketing) your own biases throughout the coding process

I highly reccommend this article if you have grounded theory in mind...
 Adele Clarke (2005). Situational Analysis—Grounded Theory After the Postmodern Turn. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage xli + 363 pages, ISBN: 0-7619-3056-6, $ 87,70

She recommends using a series of maps to be more transparent about all the myriad of influences around you

In Situational Maps all actors (individual or collective) and actants (elements, bodies, discourses) are mapped and then their relationships to each other analysed.
Social worlds/arenas maps keep hold of different "universes of discourse" (as defined by STRAUSS in 1978), i.e., they map collectives and "sites of action" 
Positional Maps are designed to grasp the sites of the stated and, more importantly, the non-stated positions taken in the field. [11]

Great review of her paper LINK

Making a Mess with Situational Analysis?
Tom Mathar
Review Essay:
Adele Clarke (2005). Situational Analysis—Grounded Theory After the Postmodern Turn. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage xli + 363 pages, ISBN: 0-7619-3056-6, $ 87,70
Abstract: Adele CLARKE, a student of grounded theory co-founder Anselm STRAUSS, uses situational analysis to develop both a methodology and a method which is able to represent the field's messiness, i.e., its heterogeneous and complex character. Grounded theory, CLARKE's starting point, is stuck in a modernist world-view, particularly by looking too much for a pure and oversimplified "basic social process". In order to make grounded theory post-modern, CLARKE considers discourses that are beyond pragmatism, e.g., those initiated by FOUCAULT, LATOUR, HARAWAY. This review essay argues that even though there remain some uncertainties in engaging in this epistemological hybrid, situational analysis provides a very good instrument for researchers to come into their material more deeply and, therefore, is a convincing tool for practice-oriented social science working with qualitative methods.

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