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Constructivist Grounded Theory

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Grace Staniszewski

on 15 April 2015

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Transcript of Constructivist Grounded Theory

"[b]y adopting a constructivist grounded theory approach, the researcher can move grounded theory methods further into the
realm of interpretive social science consistent with a Blumarian (1969) emphasis on meaning, without assuming the existence of a
unidimensional external reality" -
(Charmaz, 2000, p. 521).

Evolution of Grounded Theory
The Analytic Process for Constructivist Grounded Theory
How in the World Did it Originate???
Constructivist Grounded Theory
Glaser and Strauss book Discovery of Grounded Theory
1990, 1998
Strauss and Corbin prescriptive form of GT with predetermined categories and concerns about reliability and validity

Charmaz introduces “Constructivist” method for GT

Just a Thought...
How in the World Did
Constructivist Grounded Theory Originate?
Criticisms of Grounded Theory
A focus on a quasi-objective
centered researcher

Existing theories cannot be
ignored by avoiding a
literature review, the
researcher invariably comes
to the research topic bowed under the weight of
intellectual baggage from his/her own discipline.

There is a focus on a complex method and confusing and overlapping terminology rather than data.

Poorly integrated theoretical explanations tend to be the outcome
Constructivist Grounded Theory

A Ripe Climate
Limited research methodologies in the 1960s
In their book, Discovery of Grounded Theory (1967), Glaser and Strauss describe the limitations of methodologies that use deductive reasoning
This resulted in the development of grounded theory-theory formation derives directly from the data and explained social processes happening at the ground level
-Kathy Charmaz
Grounded Theory
Beverly Harper
Grace Staniszewski
Andrea Smith

tial and Focused Coding

Memo Writing

Charmaz (2006) describes how memo writing can aid the researcher in the analytic process. "We begin our analysis with coding but soon start to write extensive codes, called memos, to discuss and analyze our codes" (p. 165).
In Grounded Theory, memo writing occurs throughout the research process and helps researchers to move from early coding to a more sophisticated analysis of a category and its relationship to other categories.
Codes to Categories to Themes Process
Charmaz (2006) notes, "...the researchers uses the most frequently appearing codes to sort synthesize, and conceptualize large amounts of data" (p. 684).

"Grounded theorists code to summarize, synthesize, and sort data, but, moreover, we also use codes ass conceptual tools:
(1) to fragment the data and thus take it apart;
(2) to define our process in the data;
(3) to make comparisons between data. (Charmaz, Chapter 6, p.165)
Certain codes account for the data better than others, so we raise these codes to tentative analytic categories to elaborate and check" (p. 165). Strauss and Corbin (1990) define categories as "Concepts derived from data that stand for phenomena" (p. 114). Charmaz (2006) describes the final stage of the coding process within Constructivist Grounded Theory as theoretical coding, which is the selection of a code that conveys the key conceptual category around which the remaining codes can be organized.
Constructivist Grounded Theory
Approach to Data Analysis Applied
"The logic of grounded theory relies on its interactive character, systematic use of comparisons, and abductive reasoning" (Charmaz, 2006).
Theory Building
Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery grounded theory: strategies for
qualitative inquiry. London, England: Wiedenfeld and Nicholson.

Wertz, F.; Charmaz, K.; McMullen, L.; Josselson, R.; Anderson, R.; &
McSpadden, E.(2011). Five ways of doing qualitative analysis: Phenomenological psychology, grounded theory, discourse analysis, narrative research, and intuitive inquiry. New York: Guilford Press

Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: a practical
guide through qualitative analysis. London: Thousand Oaks
Corbin, J. M., & Strauss, A. L. (2015). Basics of qualitative research :
techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. California: Thousand Oaks.
"Grounded theory studies begin with open questions, and researchers presume that they may know little about the meanings that drive the actions of their participants."
Step One: The Research Question
The purpose of this study was to examine and understand African American parents' perceptions, experiences, and decision-making concerning enrolling their child in Utopian Academy charter school.
Theoretical Sampling
"After developing a tentative category, we return to the field settings to gain specific data to illuminate the category. In an interview study, we may revise the interview guide to build in focused questions about this category to develop its properties; compare it with data and codes, and assess its robustness and useful in analysis the data - increasing the power and usefulness of an emergent theoretical category and constitutes a pivotal step in theory construction" (Charmaz, 2006).
Knowledge Learned From People Regarding Charter Schools
The first theme focuses on the type of knowledge that African American parents received about about charter schools. In examining the data from the interviews, it was found that the participants often learned about charter schools based on various perspectives. For example, many of the participants learned about the schools from a teacher or administrator who felt the participants’ child would greatly benefit. “He [school administrator] recommended it based on how my son interacted…” remarked Parent A. Similarly, Parent C shared, “So her teacher, her fifth grade teacher, she told me about Elite Scholars.” But, unlike the other participants, she had prior experience with charter school in another state. She stated, “In Miami, charter schools are very popular. Yes, charter schools are very popular. And it’s so different from state to state because in Miami if your school district is not up to par, you have the option of sending them outside the district and the city provides the child transportation.” On the contrary, Parent B learned about charter schools from a group of charter school petitioners who were looking to start up a new charter school in the district. Parent B recalled,

I actually was one of those parents [who] signed the original petition for Lewis Academy. I was out here in Riverdale
and I don’t even remember where I was shopping, and somebody was like, “We’ve got a charter school coming…we’re
trying to get a charter school. I don’t even think my daughter was…she wasn’t even school age at that time, but I just had
heard, you know, charter schools…this is something great, this is something different, it’s thinking outside the box. So,
that’s how I originally did it.

All in all, each participant gained knowledge about charter schools through word of mouth. Yet, they highlight the significance of not only learning about charter schools from others, but also the type of knowledge that is learned from others. In the excerpts, there are “recommendations,” as well as “positive accounts,” “this is something great,” and “different” as well. The charter school recommendations were based on the academic ability of Parent A’s child. Positive accounts came from Parent B’s experience with them in another state and her knowledge of charter schools as schools of choice for parents in failing school districts. Charter schools were posited as “new” and “different” when information was provided from an organization that sought to start a new charter school in the district and enroll students due to multiple school failures in the district. Ultimately, it is evident that the messages that the parents received about charter schools were both informative and positive.
Theoretical Saturation and Production of Substantive Theory
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