The Discovery of Grounded Theory
Strategies for Qualitative Research
Most writing on sociological method has been concerned with how .accurate facts can be obtained and how theory can thereby be more rigorously tested. In The Discovery of Grounded Theory, Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss address the equally Important enterprise of how the discovery of theory from data—systematically obtained and analyzed In social research—can be furthered. The discovery of theory from data—grounded theory—Is a major task confronting sociology, for such a theory fits empirical situations, and Is understandable to sociologists and laymen alike. Most Important, it provides relevant predictions, explanations, interpretations, and applications.
In Part I of the book, "Generation Theory by Comparative Analysis," the authors present a strategy whereby sociologists can facilitate the discovery of grounded theory, both substantive and formal. This strategy involves the systematic choice and study of several comparison groups. In Part II, The Flexible Use of Data," the generation of theory from qualitative, especially documentary, and quantitative data Is considered. In Part HI, "Implications of Grounded Theory," Glaser and Strauss examine the credibility of grounded theory.
The Discovery of Grounded Theory is directed toward improving social scientists' capacity for generating theory that will be relevant to their research. While aimed primarily at sociologists, it will be useful to anyone Interested In studying social phenomena—political, educational, economic, industrial— especially If their studies are based on qualitative data.
“[W]e consider Grounded Theory one of the most important methodological treatises which modern American sociology has produced. It should become required reading for all graduate students of sociology.”
—Helmut R. Wagner, Social Forces
“One of the rewards of reading this book is the restatement of the persistent theme that research of the kind Glaser and Strauss advocate is a thrilling, creative thing. It is not the least bit ignoble or tedious. The authors successfully transmit the sense of adventure, the air of excitement and of positive apprehension over what is discovered as one tracks down clues and sorts among attractive alternatives.”
—John C. Scott, American Sociological Review
“The British Sociological Association recently compiled a list of couses on Sociological Theory and Methods taught at British universities. Reading through this list, one cannot but notice—in addition to the interesting discrepancies between the courses—a notable gap in most syllabi, reading lists and examination questions: any attempt to cover the area between, on the one hand, research techniques, and on the other, the debate on how one can meaningfully relate data and theory. The sociological literature as a whole has little to offer in this no-mans land, and by venturing into it, Glaser and Strauss have made a significant contribution.”
—S. Cohen, The British Journal of Sociology