Chapter

Early Data Analysis

Julianne S. Oktay

in Grounded Theory

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199753697
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932627 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199753697.003.0003

Series: Pocket Guides to Social Work Research Methods

Early Data Analysis

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This chapter focuses on the first level of data analysis in grounded theory. In this “first step,” the researcher uses line-by-line coding to begin to identify concepts from raw data. The chapter includes examples of open coding, designed to help readers to use open coding with their own data. It illustrates how the grounded theory method creates concepts that are closely tied to data. It also shows how to further develop these concepts by identifying their dimensions and properties, and how to consolidate concepts into larger categories. It demonstrates how the authors of the exemplar social work grounded theory studies used the dimensions and properties of their categories in their analyses. It emphasizes the importance of writing memos, even in this early stage of analysis. It illustrates how open coding and memoing further the use of the constant comparative method and theoretical sampling in grounded theory data analysis. These components of the grounded theory method help the researcher to move the analysis beyond description and toward theory building. Exercises in early analysis are provided.

Keywords: grounded theory; line-by-line coding; open coding; social work research; memo writing

Chapter.  5991 words.  Illustrated.

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