Elements of Theory

Joint collection, coding, and analysis of data is the underlying operation. The generation of theory, coupled with the notion of theory as a process requires that all three operations should be done together as much as possible. They should blur and intertwine continually, from the beginning of an investigation to its end.”- P43

1 – Categories and their properties

(As concepts indicated by the data – i.e. they are not themselves data). But they do have a sort of essence of their own – once you create one, and find data is pushing against it, you may adjust it, pull it about… you are less likely to destroy it. Certainly you will maintain a record of it… So they have a sort of sticking power in the work and can’t be… unspoken.

There is concern that categories may suffer from lacking development if one category flows more than another. There are techniques to reduce this / inspect this.

2 – Hypotheses / generalised relationships among categories and properties.

Need to be sensitising – i.e. enable people to grasp the meaning

Need to be analytic – i.e. general enough to describe the characteristics or a concrete entity, not the entity itself

Relationships between categories / properties – that may go on to become the theory – begin as suggested rather than tested and are expanded as the research progresses.

3 – Theoretical Framework

3.a. Relationships between categories / properties – that may go on to become the theory – begin as suggested rather than tested and are expanded as the research progresses.

3.b Interpellations between hypotheses form an interelated central theoretical framework.

4. Integration

There should eventually be an integrating scheme for the theory – connecting data, categories etc – enabling the theory to be used, extended etc.

You get a feeling for when the integrating scheme has emerged when – whenever a new category or data emerges – it has a place in the existing scheme – i.e. the scheme doesn’t need to be reviewed and redesigned to include it.

Barney G. Glaser & Anselm L. Strauss. 1967. The Discovery of Grounded Theory. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. P38