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'Discovering' chronic illness: Using grounded theory


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  • Charmaz, Kathy
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    This paper focuses on using the grounded theory method to study social psychological themes which cut across diverse chronic illnesses. The grounded theory method is presented as a method having both phenomenological and positivistic roots, which leads to confusion and misinterpretations of the method. A social constructionist version and application of grounded theory are introduced after brief overviews of the method and of the debates it has engendered are provided. Next, phases in developing concepts and theoretical frameworks through using the grounded theory approach are discussed. These phases include: (1) developing and refining the research and data collection questions, (2) raising terms to concepts, (3) asking more conceptual questions on a generic level and (4) making further discoveries and clarifying concepts through writing and rewriting. Throughout the discussion, examples and illustrations are derived from two recent papers, 'Disclosing Illness' and 'Struggling for a Self: Identity Levels of the Chronically Ill'. Last, the merits of the method for theoretical development are discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 30 (1990)
    Issue (Month): 11 (January)
    Pages: 1161-1172

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:30:y:1990:i:11:p:1161-1172

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    1. repec:ris:cieodp:2013_016 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. São José, José & Barros, Rosanna & Samitca, Sanda & Teixeira, Ana, 2013. "Social Care and Well-being. Experiences and Perspectives of an Old-aged Group," Journal of Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, CIEO-Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, University of Algarve, vol. 1(3), pages 187-201.
    3. Anne Spencer, 2000. "Testing the Additive Independence Assumption in the QALY Model," Working Papers 427, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.


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