From the Editor’s Desk

We are pleased to publish this December 2019 issue of the Grounded Theory Review, an online journal dedicated to supporting those who conduct classic grounded theory research.  First developed by Glaser and Strauss in the early 1960s and further established by Glaser in the intervening years, classic grounded theory is a unique method of discovering never before recognized processes and patterns of human behavior. This issue includes three papers that discuss educational issues surrounding the method and four original classic grounded theories.

Preserving Autonomy: A Cry for Help was written by Glaser and first published in 2016.  In this paper, Glaser discusses cries for help he has received over the years—often from novice grounded theory researchers who are striving to obtain the highly valued PhD.  As is often the case, many cries for help come from students who struggle to learn the method without the support of experienced classic grounded theory mentors. In this paper, Glaser stresses that autonomy is essential, even for the novice.  Grounded theory mentors are encouraged to support novices’ autonomy, thereby preserving the joy of freedom of discovery that comes with doing grounded theory.

Glaser is a master teacher.  He taught for several years at University of California, San Francisco, where he developed a seminar method of teaching.  He adapted his “delayed action learning process” to three-day intensive grounded theory seminars that he conducted for many years.  The second paper in this issue, How Classic Grounded Theorists Teach the Method, outlines the teaching strategies of 15 experienced grounded theorists, all of whom learned the method from Glaser.  Although the settings and types of students vary, all who contributed to this paper offer strategies to teach grounded theory through experiential learning.

An important initial aspect of teaching is to differentiate classic grounded theory from other research methods, particularly remodeled versions of grounded theory.  In Teaching Qualitative Research: Versions of Grounded Theory, Andrew P. Carlin and Younhee H. Kim, both from University of Macau offer a scholarly discussion.  The paper identifies problems associated with remodeled versions of grounded theory.  Based on a critical incident analysis of literatures as ‘fieldwork sites,’ this paper discusses iterations of qualitative research—particularly, what Carlin and Kim call the versioning of Grounded Theory. Carlin and Kim identify misapprehensions regarding the use of qualitative methods and alerts researchers in interdisciplinary fields to adverse consequences of using remodeled versions of grounded theory.

In the theory, Neutralizing Prejudices Rúni Johannesen presents a social profile of a tolerant and global ideological behavior. Johannesen found that the in-group-behavior revolves around enforcing the tolerant virtue and rooting out and eliminating prejudiced attitudes that affect minorities and the collective environment.  Johannesen discovered that neutralizing prejudices is a means to engage and deal with prejudiced oppression and prejudice-related behavior. Mindsets with a tolerant worldview use neutralization to assert their worldview and cope with the prejudiced attitudes they experience towards minorities and the collective environment. Neutralizing prejudices is a way to negate, defuse, disqualify, or override a prejudiced context by applying an opposite or contrary force or effect.  Neutralizing prejudices is a basic social process of collective regrouping in relation to a social, moral, and global objective.

Karen Jagiello discovered the theory of Seeking to Do What’s Best for Baby. Focusing on a sample population of breastfeeding mothers who had been encouraged to exclusively breastfeed without offering other nutrition supplementation to their babies, Jagiello identified a temporal three-stage process that included pre-pregnancy nescience, working through, and succeeding or surrendering. As is the case with many classic grounded theories, the processes that emerged were unexpected.  Through the process of emergence, Jagiello found that seeking to do what is best for baby is influenced by evolving internal conditions and basic social processes which account for the variation in the pattern of behavior.

Maureen P. Molinari and Kara Vander Linden, both of Saybrook University, present their classic ground theory that explains a four-stage process for resolving moral distress encountered in professional environments. Value-based mavericking explains that misalignment between personal and professional values may lead to moral distress and burnout and, that while coping strategies may ease symptoms, the underlying problem still exists. Value-based mavericking presents a process that includes evaluating professional alignment and values and then choosing if and how to continue working in the current professional environment.  As is the case with many classic grounded theories, value-based mavericking presents a different way of approaching moral distress and burnout that has not been previously addressed in the literature.

Debbie Garratt and Joanna Patching, both of Notre Dame University, present their theory of Manipulative Dominant Discoursing: Alarmist Recruitment and Perspective Gatekeeping.  This theory explains the main concern of practitioners in Australia when interacting with women on the issue of abortion.  Recognizing Glaser’s dictum, all is data, Garratt and Patching utilized a broad data set including practitioner interviews, professional notes, and discourse data. The theory of manipulative dominant discoursing: alarmist recruitment and perspective gatekeeping emerged from the data.

The theories of Johannesen, Jagiello, Garratt, and Molinari & Vander Linden illustrate how new and unexpected theories can emerge when researchers have the freedom and autonomy that is afforded by classic grounded theory.  Since some of the authors in this issue attended intensive grounded theory seminars, their theories demonstrate the value of experiential teaching strategies and delayed action learning processes.

I wish to thank the many people who make the Grounded Theory Review possible.  Barney Glaser continues to support the publication.  His intellectual contribution is invaluable.  Without Glaser, the Review would not be possible.  I also wish to thank Barry Chametzky, a PhD prepared university faculty member whose dedication to the grounded theory method involves many volunteer hours copyediting papers for the publication.  Thanks also to our international, interdisciplinary colleagues who give their time in peer review, paper submissions, and other contributions.  To all of them and to you, our readers, we at the Grounded Theory Review wish you a very Happy New Year.

Alvita Nathaniel, PhD