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Constructing Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide through Qualitative Analysis Paperback – 18 Jan 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd (18 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761973532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761973539
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 16.8 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


“I love this book. It is the second time I have used it for this course. The doctoral students also find it very useful understanding the grounded theory method.”
—Mary Ann Jezewski, University at Buffalo, SUNY

(Mary Ann Jezewski)

"Constructing Grounded Theory is an outstanding handbook for students and seasoned researchers alike who are using or seeking to understand better the application of qualitative methods of data analysis. This deceptively slim volume is extraordinarily dense and packed with down-to-earth advice, living up to its sub-title as 'a practical guide.'" (Marie L. Radford Science Direct 2008-08-07)

"The excellent articles are well written and accessible."
This handbook is a wonderful resource for scholars, researchers, students, and professionals about a method and theory that has an exceptional potential to 'ignite the mind.'"    
(G.K. Hearn Choice 2008-08-14)

About the Author

Kathy Charmaz is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Faculty Writing Program at Sonoma State University.  In the latter position, she leads seminars for faculty to help them complete their research and scholarly writing.  She has written, co-authored, or co-edited fourteen books including Good Days, Bad Days: The Self in Chronic Illness and Time, which won awards from the Pacific Sociological Association and the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction.  The first edition of Constructing Grounded Theory received a Critics’ Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association.  It has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Polish and Portuguese and two more translations are underway. A co-edited four-volume set, Grounded Theory and Situational Analysis, with senior editor, Adele Clarke, just came out as part of the Sage Benchmarks in Social Research series.  Another co-edited volume with Antony Bryant, senior editor, The Sage Handbook of Grounded Theory, appeared in 2007.  Professor Charmaz is a co-author of two multi-authored methodology books, Five Ways of Doing Qualitative Analysis: Phenomenological Psychology, Grounded Theory, Discourse Analysis, Narrative Research, and Intuitive Inquiry, which Guilford published in 2011, and Developing Grounded Theory: The Second Generation, a 2009 publication with Left Coast Press.  She has also published articles and chapters on the experience of chronic illness, the social psychology of suffering, writing for publication as well as numerous papers on grounded theory and qualitative research.  Currently she is working on a text on symbolic interactionist social psychology and several papers on methods.

Professor Charmaz has served as President of the Pacific Sociological Association, President and Vice-President of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, Vice-President of Alpha Kappa Delta, the international honorary for sociology, Editor of Symbolic Interaction, and Chair of the Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association.  She has received the 2001 Feminist Mentors Award and the 2006 George Herbert Mead award for lifetime achievement from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. She lectures and leads workshops on grounded theory, qualitative methods, medical sociology, and symbolic interactionism around the globe.

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Chris Macfarlane on 22 July 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought this book as an introduction to grounded theory. Occasionally one makes a great choice without any background but blind luck and that is the case here. This book has opened my eyes to grounded theory, but more than that it has expanded my mind in respect to writing. This is a 'how to' manual without telling you what to do but guiding and generating thinking, I had plenty of 'light bulb moments' that lead me to change the way I thought about the writing I am doing. This book provides a focus to undertaking a project using the qualitative approach - Grounded Theory, by taking you step by step through the process from data collection to the write up.

What's more this book is enjoyable to read as it is written with a voice that is engaging and non-threatening, which is Charmaz practicing what she preaches in Chapter 7 'Writing the Draft' and addressing a broader audience than the social science group she is from. Health is my field, so I found the examples used by Charmaz from her study into chronic illness familiar and understandable. Generally the examples used were clear and understandable. The ease of reading belies the depth to the content with my reading limited to one or two sections, while I mulled and chewed over what I had just read and how it would help my project.

I think anyone looking to undertake research should read this book, as apart from its practicality it provides plenty of thinking material with chapter 6 'Reconstructing Theory' helping to expand the thinking in the research paradigm broadly. I did need to make sure I was not tired for this section as it required me to concentrate to follow the arguments. This is a scholarly work and not a trashy magazine.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Julie & co. on 17 Nov 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This takes you beyond what the brief-explanation-of-all-research-methodologies books tell you. This is the best explanation of Grounded theory I've read! Completely thorough and also easy to read! Oh I just love it when reading a text book feels as easy as reading fiction during my summer holiday! If you are thinking about doing a Grounded Theory study, get this book! Totally trustworthy and academically grounded but and also completely accessible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Keen on 4 Mar 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like this book, it has become somewhat of a bible to me whilst struggling to get a grip on my 1st constructionist GT method. Overall it is very helpful, and I would recommend it to anyone as the seminal text on this variation of the GT method. Being a sad bugger I have both the paper and Kindle versions - I doff my cap to Sage for making the later available.

Charmaz writes well - although occasionally she does fall into the trap of using some vocabulary that will get you reaching for a dictionary (to be expected at this level I suppose, but still in my mind this is unnecessary). Furthermore the structure of some chapters is somewhat difficult to follow - although this could be to do with the subheadings, which could more clearly define the hierarchical structure of each chapter. E.g. I found myself re-reading the chapter on collecting data several times to try appreciate whether Charmaz was asserting that all constructivist GT is ethnography only to realise that the headings were confusing me.

I think half of my issues with the book relate to the fact as a student I am looking for very specific guidance - and at times this seems in short supply. E.g. what distinguishes a category from a concept? Charmaz does answer this, but its not in the coding chapter where you'd be forgiven for expecting to find it (more structural issues?). Yet this said: research is a 'practice' and as such its messy and needs the individual researcher to apply judicious consideration to each decision made. Under such circumstances I can not hold Charmaz to account for not going into the detail my specific project needs.

A last thought: perhaps a 2nd revised edition is now overdue?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Are you a post graduate student aiming to collect qualitative data? Is your philosophical perspective more of an interpretive or social constructivist? Are you planning to code and sift through huge amounts of interview data? Do you want rigour in your analysis? I sincerely recommend Charmaz's "Constructing Grounded Theory" as one of the books to get hold of. It would as well be an interesting read for anyone with interest on qualitative methodology. It can be read in tandem with other qualitative research methodology books, especially with Guba & Lincoln (1994)and Creswell(2003). I read this book many times, in fact this is my 'fine' text book for qualitative data analysis. There are a lot of practical examples given in the book.

Unlike some grounded theorists, Charmaz considers the method as one of the many methods, thus she argues that it should be the research problem that should guide the research process, not the method. So she is not religious about it. In the book, she argues that the researcher is a subjective and pro-active con-constructor of concepts and theory NOT an objective observer (That is why you find CONSTRUCTING in the title of this book). She argues the research is inevitably affected by a host of social and experiential factors, thus she accentuates the importance of being `reflexive' and recognising the inevitability of such subjectivity. She also contends the grounded theory method itself should be flexible in the treatment of literature review and thus should consider pragmatic issues.

So go ahead and do literature review at any time in your project but make sure to not bias your coding, memo writing and theory generation with extant theories. Overall, I found the constructivist approach to grounded theory so convincing as a method for qualitative data collection and analysis.
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