The validity of a grounded theory approach to research on democratization

Hardman, H. (2013) The validity of a grounded theory approach to research on democratization. Qualitative Research, 13(6), pp. 635-649. (doi: 10.1177/1468794112445526)

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This paper attempts to demonstrate that a grounded theory textual analysis yields results that are equally important as more traditional forms of inquiry, such as archival research. The research employed a grounded theory approach in a CAQDAS1 textual analysis of the published minutes of three communist party meetings, held in Hungary, Serbia and the Soviet Union in 1988. The purpose of the analysis was to reveal nuance in delegates’ speeches at a time when, officially, ‘monolithic unity’ in the party required members to express wholehearted support for their leaderships’ policies, and yet at the same time these regimes were in the process of liberalizing, and party members had begun expressing their own preferences. But, the few speakers at these meetings who advocated far-reaching changes often chose to allude to taboo subjects in a coded way, while their hardline, conservative superiors sprinkled their speeches with terms that are traditionally associated with liberal democracies. Interpretive coding of text enabled recording of a more fine-grained reading of these minutes, while the application of grounded theory provided a tabula rasa which generated a model that was common to all three cases.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hardman, Dr Helen
Authors: Hardman, H.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Qualitative Research
ISSN (Online):1741-3109
Published Online:15 June 2012

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