Sunday, November 24, 2013

Reading :: Constructing Grounded Theory

Constructing Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide through Qualitative Analysis
By Kathy Charmaz

When Charmaz published this book in 2006, it became an instant classic. Researchers working with grounded theory found it to be an accessible, useful guide for conducting qualitative research. They're right: Charmaz covers the basics of grounded theory, discusses how to collect data, code it, write analytical memos, conduct theoretical sampling, develop theory, and write it up.

The book is accessible. But I was only lukewarm about it. I don't think that's the book's fault, though. Rather, I think that the book is simpler than I wanted it to be—especially just after reading Saldana and Miles, Huberman, & Saldana, both of which explore parts of the qualitative research process in great detail. Those books taught me something; Charmaz's book is more of a primer—which, to be fair, is what it's supposed to be.

But for that reason, I'd consider using Charmaz's book for a graduate or even undergraduate class in qualitative research. It's accessible, clear, and perhaps more lucid than any other explanation of grounded theory that I've read. If you're just learning about qualitative research in general or grounded theory in particular, pick it up.

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