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Glaser vs. Strauss? Zur methodologischen und methodischen Substanz einer Unterscheidung zweier Varianten von Grounded Theory

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  • Social Sciences
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Sozialwissenschaften
  • Soziologie
  • Forschungsarten Der Sozialforschung
  • Research Design
  • Grounded Theory
  • Methodologie
  • Emergenz
  • Theoriebildung
  • Kritik
  • Grounded Theory
  • Methodology
  • Emergence
  • Theory Formation
  • Criticism
  • Basic Research
  • Grundlagenforschung
  • Philosophy


"In 1992 Barney Glaser published a harsh polemic against the grounded theory textbook by Anselm Strauss and Juliet Corbin. Glaser's book is the most obvious indicator that two largely separate approaches have emerged out of the proposal of grounded theory that was jointly developed by Glaser and Strauss in 1967. These approaches differ profoundly in procedural matters and are rooted in divergent methodological and social theoretical backgrounds. So far, however, the question remains unanswered as to what methodological standpoint Glaser claims to represent and which arguments he derives from this position to criticize Strauss's variant of grounded theory. This paper is structured by the thesis that Glaser's attacks on Strauss and Corbin can be understood appropriately only if we take into account the different methodological stances and the respective schools of thought from which Glaser and Strauss received their intellectual imprint. The result will be that Glaser's methodological position is not just pointless with respect to epistemological and science theoretical issues, but that it is itself inconsistent, since his stress on conceptual emergence and on refraining from using prior knowledge is inconsistent with his strong emphasis on using general social theoretical knowledge, represented in his coding families. Additionally his rejection of verification unduly reduces the competitiveness and productivity of grounded theory-based analysis, whilst mistakenly seeing verification as bound to hypothetico-deductive approaches." (author's abstract)

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