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Michael burawoy

Michael burawoy



Alternatives to Grounded Theory

Alternatives to Grounded Theory



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    Michael burawoy Michael burawoy Presentation Transcript

    • Ethnography UnboundPower and Resistance in the Modern Metropolis Michael Burawoy et al.
    • “In the face of commodification through moneyand administration through power, everyday life loses it autonomy and shared purpose.” Page 2
    • Glaser and Strauss“In short, our focus on the emergence ofcategories solves problems offit, relevance, forcing, and richness. An effectivestrategy is, at first, literally to ignore theliterature of theory and fact on the area understudy, in order to assure that the emergence ofcategories will not be contaminated by conceptsmore suited to different areas.”quoted in Burawoy et al. page 10
    • Grounded theory• Glaser and Strauss approach social phenomena from the standpoint of their generality• Each case study is a potential exemplar of some general law or principle• Move from substantive theory to formal theory• Theory emerges from the field
    • Grounded theory• Glaser and Strauss are concerned to develop – Concepts – Categories – Dimensions – Sampling• Grounded in the data• Reflecting the data’s complexity and richness
    • Extended Case Method• Trys to include more phenomena under a single covering law• Elaborates the effects of the macro on the micro• Specifies some particular feature of the social situation that requires reference to external forces• Looks for the unexpected• Treats social phenomena as counter instances of some old theory
    • Extended Case Method• Instead of an exemplar the social situation is viewed as an anomaly• Lays out what is expected in the study site before entry• Discovers the unexpected and then turns to existing bodies of theory that might shed light on the anomaly.• The shortcomings of theory become grounds for reconstruction• What is interesting in the field emerges from our theory
    • Karl Popper• Verification & Induction are flawed strategies and lead to infinite regress – No matter how many white swans we find it does not prove that all swans are white• It is better to proceed by – Conjecture and refutation – Falsification – if we look for not white swans in places they are likely to be (if they exist) and fail to find them then we reject the theory that not white swans exist. It does not prove that all swans are white but it builds confidence in the theory
    • Extended Case Method• Do not forsake a theory because it faces falsification – improve theories by turning anomalies into exemplars• Counterinstances are seized upon to reconstruct our theories• Other kinds of theoretical failure – Internal contradictions (Gouldner’s study of bureaucracy) – Theoretical gaps or silences• Reconstruct theory by a running exchange between field notes and analysis• The conjectures of yesterday’s analysis are refuted by today’s observations and then reconstructed in tomorrow’s analysis