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From The CriticsReviewer: Mary Ellen Wurzbach, RN, MSN, PhD(University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Description: This book identifies and raises epistemological questions about the qualitative research methodology known as grounded theory and about how it is used in nursing research. It is a combination of theoretical ideas and practical "how-to" suggestions for understanding and using this unique methodology.
Purpose: Methodological writing on grounded theory has failed to keep pace with published findings, according to the editors, so they have made an effort to raise awareness of the ontological and philosophical underpinnings of grounded theory and how these influence the way research is conducted. Grounded theorists from Canada and the United States representing a range of experiences with the method are gathered to create a tension between traditional grounded theory as originally practiced and newer perspectives on the method.The authors' objectives are worthy and the book meets a current need for discussion of the philosophical underpinnings of grounded theory and more practical issues inherent in its use.
Audience: The editors identify the audience for the book as scholars looking for illumination about grounded theory who need a source book. Since the topic is complex, so is the book and this is an appropriate audience.
Features: According to the editors, this book is different because it provides a broad coverage of the method and its background, as well as its epistemological roots and recent directions. Not all authors agree with one another about the most appropriate way to use this method and the disagreement creates debate that the editors believe is healthy.The unique aspect of this book is its subject matter. There are few books that discuss the grounded theory methodology in such depth.
Assessment: This is a unique book that looks at grounded theory from diverse perspectives. Although a few books describe the underpinnings of the qualitative research methodology, grounded theory, few summarize the arguments currently under discussion in the qualitative research community. The authors are particularly eloquent when discussing grounded theory and post modernism, the "how to" of grounded theory, the interaction of the two qualitative methods grounded theory and hermeneutic phenomenology, the application of grounded theory to measurement in practice, and new directions in grounded formal theory. The book is recommended for both students of grounded theory and scholars committed to or considering this approach.