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Rahmat M. Samik-Ibrahim
Memo #23
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This page is a tribute to the late Dr. Cheng-Hian Goh, with whom "awareness" was discussed without being aware :-(.
I pledge allegiance to the grounded theory,
and to the united emergence of category,
for which it stands, one theory, modifiable, with validity,
relevance, general, and "just do it" for all! -- (Bellamy++)
| Bahasa Indonesia | English |

| Coding | Rules | Sampling | Memoing | Etc | Reference |

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Coding Coding Coding...

The Glaserian coding model is based on first comparing of indicator to indicator, then the emerging concept to indicators. There are two types of coding without a clear boundary, i.e. open coding and selective coding, to more than 18 theoretical coding families (cf. "axial coding" in [STRAUSCORBIN98]). Note that "it is necessary for the grounded theorist to know many theoretical codes in order to be sensitive." References: [GLASER78, pp. 63, 72-82], [GLASER98, pp. 170-175].

The Basic Social Process (BSP) is one of the most favorable theoretical code among beginers. BSP is a "generic theoretical construct of the same genre as Weber's ideal type and Schutz's homunculus". References: [BIGUSHADDGLAS94, p. 38].

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Five Suggested Coding Rules

  1. Ask general questions like:
    • What is this data study of?
    • What category or property of a category, of what part of the emerging theory, does this incident indicate?
    • What is actually happening in the data? What is going on here? What is happening? What is the participant's main concern? What are people doing? What accounts for the answers of these questions? What kind of events are at issue here? How are they constructed? What do these events mean? What else couldt it mean?
    • What is the Basic Social Psychological Process or Social Structural Process that processes the main problem that makes life viable in the action scene?
    References: [CHARMAZ94,p. 98], [GLASER78, pp. 56-58], [GLASER98, pp. 25-26, 140], [MULLEN96, p. 65], [STRAUSSCORBIN98, p.61].

  2. Analyze the data line by line.

    An incident could be found in a phrase, or one-two sentences, or occasionally in a word or a paragraph. See also microanalysis in chapter 5 of Strauss and Corbin (1998). References: [GLASER78, pp. 56-58], [GLASER98, p. 140], [STRAUSSCORBIN98, ch. 5].

  3. The analyst must do his own coding.

    A simple coding example of pain relief:
    "When I have arthritis pain, I take aspirin. After a while, I feel better".
    • Condition: have
    • Phenomenon: arthritic pain
    • Strategy: aspirin
    • Consequence: feel better
    References: [GLASER78, pp. 56-58], [STRAUSSCORBIN90, p. 98].

    Yet another simple example:
    "... I knew I was different. I caught colds very easily and my resistance was very low, and so I knew that generally speaking my health wasn't as good as everybody else's, but I tried to do all the things that every body else was doing."
    Code:
    Self-perception; Awareness of difference; Identifying self through ill health; Comparing health to others'.
    References: [CHARMAZ94A, p. 101].

    "Keep moving through the data as quickly as possible... Do not beat one incident to death... The goal is to find the latent patterns and this takes lots of incidents..." References: [GLASER98, p. 145].

  4. Always interrupt the coding to memo the idea.

    This webpage is actually my memos of understanding Grounded Theory itself! It will continuously be enhanced whenever my own Minus Mentoring understanding of GTM advances. References: [GLASER78, pp. 56-58], [STERN94, p. 216].

  5. Do not assume any face sheet variables.

    Examples of face sheet variables are: age, gender, education, etc. References: [GLASER78, pp. 56-58].

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Theoretical Sampling

"Theoretical Sampling is the process of data collection for generating theory whereby the analyst jointly collects, codes, and analyzes his data and decides what data to collect next and where to find them, in order to develop his theory as it emerges. This process of data collection is controlled by the emerging theory, whether substantive or formal." References: [GLASERSTRAUSS67, p. 45].

Theoretical sampling is "the where next in collecting data, the for what according to the codes, and the why from the analysis in memos". References: [GLASER98, p. 157].

"By the time theoretical sampling is planned, a researcher would have some hunches or even hypotheses which he or she wishes to check." References: [CHARMAZ94, pp. 69-70].

Theoretical sampling questions would be pertaining to:

  • What groups or subgroups does one turn to next in data collection?
  • For what theoretical purpose?
References: [GLASERSTRAUSS67, p. 47], [STRAUSS94A].

There is no magic number of theoretical sampling. A study may sature with as low as 34 indepth interviews; another one was even conducted with only 11 indepth interviews plus hundreds of observational hours. However, a complete research may need about 60 to 100 theoretical sampled interviews plus attended observations. References: [BIGUS96, p. 21], [CHARMAZ96A, p. 34], [GLASER96, p. xvii], [MULLEN96, p. 61], [PARTRIDGE96, p. 77], [WILSON96].

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Theoretical Memoing

"Memos are the theorizing write-up of ideas about codes and their relationships as they strike the analyst while coding... The analyst has to develop his or her own style and techniques." Writing up is basically sorting these theoretical memos. References: [GLASER78, p. 83], [GLASER98, ch. 12], [STRAUSSCORBIN98, p. 223].

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Those who can, do; those who can't, teach; those who can neither, consult; and those who can nothing, research (G.B. Shaw++ :-) !
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References:

  • The Grounded Theory Reference Page -- in paper form.
  • Online Grounded Theory Articles -- on the Web.
  • [BIGUS96] Bigus, Odis E. 1996. Becoming "Alcoholic:" A Study of Social Transformation. In Gerund Grounded Theory: The Basic Social Process Dissertation (Glaser, Barney G editor), Sociology Press, pp. 14-28. [HM48 Ger CLMS, -].
    Keywords: Grounded Theory
    MEMO: Ph.D thesis summary 1974 UCSF
  • [BIGUSHADDGLAS94] Bigus, Odis E., Hadden, Stuart, C., and Glaser, Barney G. 1994. The Study of Basic Social Processes. In More Grounded Theory Methodology: A Reader (Glaser, Barney G editor), Sociology Press, pp. 38-64. [HM48 Mor CLMS, 1-8841-5607-X].
    Keywords: Grounded Theory
  • [CHARMAZ94] Charmaz, Kathy. 1994. "Discovering" Chronic Illness: Using Grounded Theory. In More Grounded Theory Methodology: A Reader (Glaser, Barney G editor), Sociology Press, pp. 65-94. [HM48 Mor CLMS, 1-8841-5607-X].
    Keywords: Grounded Theory
  • [CHARMAZ96A] Charmaz, Kathy. 1996. Time and Identity: the Shaping of Selves of the Chronically Ill. In Gerund Grounded Theory: The Basic Social Process Dissertation (Glaser, Barney G editor), Sociology Press, pp. 29-41. [HM48 Ger CLMS.
    Keywords: Grounded Theory
    MEMO: Ph.D thesis summary 1973 UCSF
  • [GLASER78] Glaser, Barney G. 1978. Theoretical Sensitivity. Sociology Press, pp. 164. [HM48 Gla CLMS, -]
    MEMO: Although it is not a doctrine, read this thoughtfully! It is about Theoretical "Pacing, Sampling, Coding, Sorting, Writing", as well as Basic Social Processes - BSP -, Generating Formal Theory, and New Directions.
  • [GLASER92] Glaser, Barney G. 1992. Emergence vs. Forcing: Basics of Grounded Theory Analysis. Sociology Press, pp. 129. [HM28 Gla CLMS, -]
    MEMO: REPRODUCIBILITY (pp. 116 - 117) do not waste time! Use rigorous verificational methods to test a few of its central hypotheses [cf. MORSE97B].
  • [GLASER96] Glaser, Barney G. 1996. Gerund Grounded Theory: The Basic Social Process Dissertation. Sociology Press, pp. 127. [HM48 Ger CLMS, -]
    MEMO: Grounded Theory Methodology - Basic Social Process
  • [GLASER98] Glaser, Barney G. 1998. Doing Grounded Theory: Issues and Discussions. Sociology Press, pp. 254. [-, -]
    Keywords: Grounded Theory
    MEMO: Grounded theory is a delayed action phenomenon. Do not expect to understand this book at the first glance.
  • [GLASERSTRAUSS67] Glaser, Barney G., and Strauss, Anselm L. 1967. The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. Aldine, pp. 271. [HM48 Gla CLMS, ISBN 0-2977-6318-0]
    MEMO: The starting point of GTM.
  • [MULLEN96] Mullen, Patricia Dolan. 1996. Cutting Back: Life after a Heart Attack. In Gerund Grounded Theory: The Basic Social Process Dissertation (Glaser, Barney G editor), Sociology Press, pp. 60-72. [HM48 Mor CLMS, 1-8841-5607-X].
    Keywords: Grounded Theory
    MEMO: Ph.D thesis summary 1975 UCSF
  • [PARTRIDGE96] Partridge, Rebecca. 1996. Post-Licensure Baccalaureate Education for Registered Nurses. In Gerund Grounded Theory: The Basic Social Process Dissertation (Glaser, Barney G editor), Sociology Press, pp. 73-83. [HM48 Ger CLMS.
    Keywords: Grounded Theory
    MEMO: Ph.D thesis summary 1983 UCSF
  • [STRAUSS94A] Strauss, Anselm L. 1994. Discovering New Theory From Previous Theory: An Exercise in Theoretical Sampling. In More Grounded Theory Methodology: A Reader (Glaser, Barney G editor), Sociology Press, pp. 369-376. .
    Keywords: Grounded Theory
  • [STRAUSSCORBIN98] Strauss, Anselm L., and Corbin, Juliet. 1998. Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. Sage, 2nd ed., pp. 312. [HA29 Str, ISBN 0-8039-5939-7]
    Keywords: Grounded Theory, Qualitative Analysis
    MEMO: A good book for novice researchers: discusses the version that is taught by Strauss (p. 12). See also http://gtm.vlsm.org/gtm-18.en.html.
  • [WILSON96] Wilson, Holly Skodol. 1996. Infra Controlling: The Social Order of Freedom in an Anti-Psychiatric Community. In Gerund Grounded Theory: The Basic Social Process Dissertation (Glaser, Barney G editor), Sociology Press, pp. 104-114. [HM48 Ger CLMS, -].
    Keywords: Grounded Theory
    MEMO: Ph.D thesis summary 1974 UCSF
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