Data Analysis

Data Analysis

2. A grounded theory approach to data analysis

Grounded theory is the most  commonly  used  framework  for  analyzing  qualitative  data.

Grounded theory is  an  approach  to  the  generation  of  theory  out  of  data through an inductive form of data analysis where theory is “grounded in” or generated from the data collected by the researcher. The use of a grounded theory approach involves a set  of  procedures regarding the analysis of data.

(a) Tools of  grounded  theory

  • Coding: breaking down of data into component parts, usually by theme.
  • Theoretical saturation:  the point when  coding  no  longer  produces  any  new
  • Constant comparison: the process of making a  close  connection  between  data  and    Although  there  are  differences  in  the  ways  in  which  phases  of coding  occur  in  grounded  theory  there  is  general  agreement  that  it  involves  a  movement  from  generating  codes  that  stay  close  to  the  data  to  more  selective  and  abstract  ways  of  conceptualizing.

(b) Outcomes of  grounded  theory 

  • Concepts: the building  blocks  of
  • Categories: involve more than  one  concept  so  a  category  is  a  higher  level  of  abstraction  than
  • Hypotheses: relations between

(c) Difficulties with  grounded  theory 

  • Putting aside  your  awareness  of  already  existing    Really you  are  building  on  the  work  of  others.
  • Practical difficulties  regarding the  time  it
  • It often does  not  result  in
  • Dividing data  into  chunks  can  result  in  loss  of  narrative flow, so a researcher may need to use narrative  analysis  (for example, in  life  histories).


Peake, L. 2018. Presentation at the ‘Workshop in Urban Feminist Research: Ethnographic Research Tools’, Ramallah, Palestine, July 2018.