Constructing Grounded Theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis

The grounded theory approach to doing qualitative research in nursing has become very popular in recent years. I confess to never really having understood Glaser and Strauss’ original book: The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Since they wrote it, they have fallen out over what grounded theory might be and both produced their own versions of it. I welcomed, then, Kathy Charmaz’s excellent and practical guide.

Charmaz writes clearly and engagingly. She offers a view of what grounded theory might be. She goes on to explain how to collect ‘rich data’ and then how to code those data. Other chapters include memo writing, sampling and writing the report. Along the way, Charmaz offers worked examples, checklists and pull-out quotes. The book is carefully and appropriately referenced.

I have completed quite a lot of qualitative research over the years, and I found this book to be the clearest exposition of grounded theory and the application of its methods yet. As such, the book should appeal to a wide range of readers. Undergraduate students will appreciate it because it is clearly written. Postgraduate and postdoctoral students will also find its wealth of information useful.

My one concern is that the book is rather expensive. Otherwise, I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone with a remote or intimate interest in qualitative research.

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