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In this chapter honouring Professor Kathy Charmaz, her scholarship and her mentorship, I explore the impact of her work on my thinking and research. Specifically, I focus…
In this chapter honouring Professor Kathy Charmaz, her scholarship and her mentorship, I explore the impact of her work on my thinking and research. Specifically, I focus on the translation of her constructivist principles into my, and others', grounded theory methodological practice. Following the introduction, the chapter commences with a reflection upon coming across constructivist grounded theory (CGT) for the first time almost 20 years ago, and my excitement at finding a methodology that so well aligned with my social justice-oriented research. Already ‘seduced’ by (classical) grounded theory, I had been uncomfortable and wrestling with its problematic philosophical underpinnings, and Kathy's work provided an intriguing solution. This section also briefly reviews CGT's main features, including Kathy's central emphasis on critical reflexivity, interpretation and context, the researcher–participant relationship and the co-construction of knowledge with participants, whilst maintaining a focus on conceptual development. In Section Three, I examine the ‘translation’ of Kathy's constructivist principles into my and others' reflexive grounded theory methodological practice, focusing particularly on issues of researcher positionality/ies and participant involvement. I also consider the ways in which I am further extending these ideas in my ongoing CGT research, including in relation to researcher self-disclosure. In the concluding section, I observe that Kathy's scholarship not only put grounded theory on a new epistemological basis but also established constructivist GT's axiological foundation. I end with a reflection upon the legacy of her ‘curiosity and wonder’ as a scholar of the social world, her legendary mentorship and her generosity of spirit.
Research literature presents lively debate about whether research approaches traditionally belonging to distinct paradigms can be combined (Creswell, 2011). While much of…
Research literature presents lively debate about whether research approaches traditionally belonging to distinct paradigms can be combined (Creswell, 2011). While much of this discourse has focussed on mixed methods studies that combine quantitative and qualitative data (Morgan, 2007), there has been less discussion of the implications and benefits of combining different approaches from two “alternative” paradigms. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the confluence of constructivist grounded theory as detailed by Charmaz (2006, 2011, 2014) with participatory research.
The authors discuss points of tension and convergence between the constructivist and participatory paradigms that underpin these approaches, and consider how the differences might be reconciled through a notion such as critical grounded theory. The authors illustrate these points through examples from the research practice in youth mental health.
The authors propose that incorporating some of the critical aspects of participatory philosophy into constructivist grounded theory offers a useful strategy for generating local theory in mental health research informed by social action agendas.
This paper extends thinking in the field of participatory and grounded theory research and offers new concept for researchers engaging in critical inquiry.
Anselm is perhaps best known for creating the grounded theory method with Barney G. Glaser. The Discovery of Grounded Theory was a cutting-edge book that fueled the…
Anselm is perhaps best known for creating the grounded theory method with Barney G. Glaser. The Discovery of Grounded Theory was a cutting-edge book that fueled the qualitative revolution. I agree – strongly – with Norm Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln (1994, p. ix) that a qualitative revolution has taken place in the United States. The Discovery book arrived on the sociological scene at just the right time. Quantitative research had become systematic and quantitative researchers saw their work as “scientific.” The worship of a narrow conception of science abounded. By the time Anselm studied at Chicago, qualitative scholars had moved from life histories to case studies and established a rich ethnographic tradition that shaped Chicago School sociology in the 1940s. Yet, by the time Barney and Anselm wrote The Discovery of Grounded Theory in 1967, quantification was becoming entrenched as “the” sociological method. The ethnographic tradition was losing ground.
This contribution argues that Kathy Charmaz's career did not burst into full intellectual bloom until the last 25 years of her life – from 55 to her death at 80. I examine…
This contribution argues that Kathy Charmaz's career did not burst into full intellectual bloom until the last 25 years of her life – from 55 to her death at 80. I examine why and how this scholarly blossoming happened so late in her life and the nature of its many manifestations, especially research on a wide variety of social justice issues. After her initial focus on medical sociology, specializing in chronic illness, Kathy became an innovative and renowned qualitative methodologist, developing constructivist grounded theory (CGT) method taken up in many amazingly heterogeneous scholarly fields transnationally.
This paper aims to discuss what it means to consider the information experience of academic information management from a constructivist grounded theory perspective. Using…
This paper aims to discuss what it means to consider the information experience of academic information management from a constructivist grounded theory perspective. Using a doctoral study in progress as a case illustration, the authors demonstrate how information experience research applies a wide lens to achieve a holistic view of information management phenomena. By unifying a range of elements, and understanding information and its management to be inseparable from the totality of human experience, an information experience perspective offers a fresh approach to answering today's research questions.
The case illustration is a constructivist grounded theory study using interactive interviews, an original form of semi-structured qualitative interviews combined with card-sorting exercises (Conrad and Tucker, 2019), to deepen reflections by participants and externalize their information experiences. The constructivist variant of grounded theory offers an inductive, exploratory approach to address the highly contextualized information experiences of student-researchers in managing academic information.
Preliminary results are reported in the form of three interpretative categories that outline the key aspects of the information experience for student-researchers. By presenting these initial results, the study demonstrates how the constructivist grounded theory methodology can illuminate multiple truths and bring a focus on interpretive practices to the understanding of information management experiences.
This new approach offers holistic insights into academic information management phenomena as contextual, fluid and informed by meaning-making and adaptive practices. Limitations include the small sample size customary to qualitative research, within one situated perspective on the academic information management experience.
The study demonstrates the theoretical and methodological contributions of the constructivist information experience research to illuminate information management in an academic setting.
Couched within the author’s memories and correspondence with Kathy Charmaz, this chapter considers the philosophical nature of Constructivist, or Charmazian Grounded Theory…
Couched within the author’s memories and correspondence with Kathy Charmaz, this chapter considers the philosophical nature of Constructivist, or Charmazian Grounded Theory, and contrasts it with the philosophical underpinnings of Critical Grounded Theory. Using an autopoietic framework, this chapter sees Charmazian and Critical Grounded Theory as interconnected, complementary, but distinct in the way they each approach research participants and interpret social processes. The chapter ends with reflections on Kathy Charmaz's contribution to critical grounded theory and where she had hoped the next generation of grounded theorists might expand the methodology.
In this Festschrift, written and shared to celebrate the life and work of Dr Kathy Charmaz, I draw upon both personal reflections and Kathy's extensive writings to…
In this Festschrift, written and shared to celebrate the life and work of Dr Kathy Charmaz, I draw upon both personal reflections and Kathy's extensive writings to showcase Kathy's contributions to my personal research journey and to the field of qualitative research methodology. I examine the intersection of constructivist grounded theory and social justice research, an important theme of Kathy's work and research. I discuss three components of constructivist grounded theory that support social justice research: researcher reflexivity, prioritizing participants, and the importance of context. I share examples from my own work showing how these three facets of constructivist grounded theory contributed to an unintended yet much appreciated social justice thread in my research. My hope is through my reflection, other researchers, who were not able to meet and interact with Kathy, will be able to understand and appreciate her influence and impact, and her view of research as a responsive, flexible, and meaningful process.
A growing body of education research considers practices; however, there is less focus on a methodology that enables practical analysis of practices. Use of practice theory…
A growing body of education research considers practices; however, there is less focus on a methodology that enables practical analysis of practices. Use of practice theory is growing, particularly in work and organisational studies, but practice-focused studies more frequently address theoretical than methodological agenda. This chapter proposes a practice-focused, constructivist grounded theory methodology as one approach which can address this gap. After first considering the ways in which, separately and in combination, practice-theory and constructivist grounded theory can support higher education leadership and management research, the chapter considers implementation of this methodology by drawing on a study into the practice of authority in higher education leadership. It concludes by considering some implications for the ways in which practices can be understood and the affordances and limitations of this methodology.
Constructivist grounded theory method (GTM) as outlined by Kathy Charmaz has its explicit roots in the American pragmatism and symbolic interactionism primarily developed…
Constructivist grounded theory method (GTM) as outlined by Kathy Charmaz has its explicit roots in the American pragmatism and symbolic interactionism primarily developed at the University of Chicago during the early and mid-twentieth century. Symbolic interactionism considers people as active and interpretative agents who co-construct selves, identities, meanings, social actions, social worlds, and societies through interactions. Charmaz argues that symbolic interactionism is an open-ended theoretical perspective that fosters studying action, process, and meanings, with a focus on how people co-construct and negotiate meanings, orders, and actions in their everyday lives. In this chapter, I argue that constructivist GTM, including its theory-method package built upon symbolic interactionism and the Chicago School tradition, can be further combined with the new sociology of childhood to study children's social worlds and negotiated meanings, orders, and actions.
Using a life story approach, I explore Kathy Charmaz's research journey marked by her profound motivation to utilize the humanizing potential of human sciences research as…
Using a life story approach, I explore Kathy Charmaz's research journey marked by her profound motivation to utilize the humanizing potential of human sciences research as she developed the constructivist version of grounded theory (CGT). The experiential and social divides that she observed since her own childhood between the ill person and medical professionals or other stakeholders remained etched in her consciousness. They generated a silently but firmly held moral responsibility toward creating humanizing spaces for the voices of ill persons as well as for people marginalized by social injustice or inequity. The ontological shift Charmaz introduced in CGT enabled recovering the heretofore silenced voices of participants from the clutches of a claimed “objective truth” in the research findings of positivist research.
In her subsequent works, Charmaz also advocated and illustrated the need to use critical reflexivity to more meaningfully understand the hierarchies within and between social worlds as well as how researcher-participant relationships often shape participants' experiences. In doing so, she also demystified the colonialist nature of qualitative research methodologies, including grounded theory (GT) approaches. In such practices, implicitly individualist ideology is used to legitimate neoliberal globalization to help sustain the geopolitical economic power of a few countries over the rest of the world.