An article by Kathy Charmaz entitled “Grounded Theory: Objectivist and Constructivist Methods” is a landmark work in the continuing debate on the best way to conduct social science research. In this article, she expounded and defended the ever-growing widespread use of the…
Grounded Theory or GT is a form of qualitative research which is more like a descriptive methodology rather than what the advocates of quantitative research described as the more accurate and scientific method of research using numbers as precise, systematic indicators. Grounded Theory as a qualitative form of research has many benefits and the results obtained in using GT can likewise be considered as equally valid or legitimate just like quantitative methods. Grounded Theory offers flexibility not possible with numbers alone (Charmaz, 2000, p. 510).
Charmaz had posited the idea that Grounded Theory is superior when used or utilized in the conduct of social science research that basically involves people. Many areas of academic disciplines for inquiry include economics, politics, demography, sociology, history, law, and linguistics. Social science studies human behaviors, the individuals in a society, and relationships of these individuals among themselves and to the larger society. As such, it is considered that the use of numbers alone (qualitative research methodology) is not sufficient to describe people.
Grounded Theory as an emergent method for conducting social research inquiries offers benefits not available with quantitative research alone. GT offers the richness of nuances that are observed when watching people, how they behave, and what their likely actions will be in future situations or events. GT as an emergent method begins with the empirical world and builds up an understanding of it as events unfold and knowledge accrues or accumulates through inductive reasoning (Charmaz, 2008, p. 155). The use of GT therefore affords the advantages of flexibility for social scientists to study their research problems in unanticipated ways and newer directions than would otherwise be possible if they used quantitative research ...
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