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Grounded Theory Method and Symbolic Interactionism: Freedom of Conceptualization and the Importance of Context in Research

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posted on 2022-12-16, 05:05 authored by S Hewitt, Jane MillsJane Mills, K Hoare, N Sheridan
Symbolic interactionism (SI), a perspective used to understand human conduct, is commonly said to underpin grounded theory methodology (GTM). However, the purpose of GTM is to produce substantive explanatory social theory from data without reliance on prior assumptions. Therefore, some argue that SI is an unnecessary theoretical constraint on the principal aim of GTM —the free conceptualization of data. In this article we use examples from an ongoing constructionist grounded theory study into the negotiation of nurses' roles in general practice in New Zealand, to demonstrate how SI can inform GTM regarding conceptual development and context. We argue that by asking three questions from a symbolic interactionist perspective, at each stage of the research process, freedom of conceptualization may be enhanced and awareness of contextual matters promoted to better bridge world views.

History

Publication Date

2022-09-27

Journal

Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung

Volume

23

Issue

3

Article Number

10

Pagination

20p.

Publisher

Institut für Qualitative Forschung, Internationale Akademie Berlin gGmbH

ISSN

1438-5627

Rights Statement

© 2022 Sarah Louise Hewitt, Jane Mills, Karen Hoare, Nicolette Sheridan This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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