honoriartist (honoriartist) wrote,

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Grounded theory is not dry

Every so often I go to the message boards at the Grounded Theory Institute. I am grateful to grounded theory for providing a method for my research into the Correspondence Art Network. When I discovered there was a grounded theory method I knew that's what I had been doing so it was settling and let me get on to thinking about substance rather than methods. Today I found a nice question on the boards that made my private investigator self take notice:

Is grounded theory inductive or deductive?
I decided to post the following answer:

induction definition: inference of a generalized conclusion from particular instances

GT is inductive because using the continuous interplay of the particulars found in your data collection, literature review, and analysis you inductively generalize categories and emerging seeds of theory.

deduction definition: the deriving of a conclusion by reasoning; specifically : inference in which the conclusion about particulars follows necessarily from general or universal premises .

GT is deductive because GT itself is a process for reasoning through your data to achieve theory.

fishy definition:
GT's theoretical sampling is a method for determining a path through your data. I think of a moment when I went snorkeling in the Florida keys and swam over a coral reef with the colorful tropical fish, the sun angling through the always moving sea weeds and fish. Dappled patterns of sunlit understanding come together in that ah ha moment. I swam this way and that following a parrot fish or a school of grunt. I am part of this beautiful world. Theoretical sampling is your boat, your fins, and your snorkel. The data is always swimming around you. What do you take away from the dive? Your categories and the insights that will lead to your theories.

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