My love affair with grounded theory: Making the passion work in the “real” world

Victoria L. Rodner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Grounded theory offers the interpretive researcher a cornucopia of possibilities. Thanks to its theory-generating ethos, grounded theory is open and flexible and applicable to a variety of research settings. Furthermore, it can be used as a method, a framework, an analytical tool, and a paradigm. For the purposes of inductive research, grounded theory is very alluring and many qualitative scholars fall for its theory-building promise. Few, however, embrace the paradigm for all that it has to offer, despite claiming to being grounded in their approach to generating theory. Here I share my own passion for grounded theory: from the epistemological journey that led me to the paradigm, to pragmatically applying the method to my own research. Grounded theory is best equipped for furthering our understanding of complex social phenomena, providing us with the tools to generate rich, innovative data-driven theory, making our adoption of the method a truly lovely affair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-169
Number of pages14
JournalSociological Focus
Issue number2
Early online date28 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019


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