A Commentary on Ekins (2011)

Hans Thulesius, MD, Ph.D.

According to the author, Richard Ekins’ case study on jazz history “provides preliminary data for a grounded theory of managing authenticity“. The paper is well written, entertaining to read and I can recognise the style from Ekins’ paper male femaling1, one of my favourite GTs. The four concepts of trailblazing, mythologising, debunking and marginalising are catchy, interesting and make sense. Ekins says he has not done classic grounded theory but a conceptual description influenced by constructivist approaches. This is probably one explanation to why the main concepts in the paper are not tied together in a recognizable theoretical coding pattern. At least not to me. And the reason may be that the author has some more memo-sorting to do. This is an important part of classic GT, but often left out. By hand sorting memos, the integration of concepts to each other and to the core variable is improved since it stimulates writing of memos on memos. As such, the theoretical coding of the theory is stimulated – how concepts relate to each other as a typology, process, or any other possible conceptual constellation that explains what is going on in the substantive area.

Another way of expanding the theory could be through a literature search for the core variable and the four concepts of trailblazing, mythologising, debunking and marginalising. To compare literature data in the diverse fields where these concepts appear would provide more data to be compared and eventually make the theory more mature.


Hans Thulesius, MD, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Family Medicine
Lund University, Sweden
Email: hansthulesius@gmail.com



1. Ekins, R. (1993). On Male Femaling: A grounded theory approach to coross-dressing and sex changing. Sociological Review, 1(1), pp.1-29.