grounded theory

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grounded theory

any form of sociological theory that is built up gradually from the careful naturalistic observation of a selected social phenomenon (see also ANALYTICAL INDUCTION). As outlined by Glaser and Strauss The Discovery of Grounded Theory (1968), sociological theorizing of this type contrasts with more abstract general theories of the ‘hypothetico-deductive’ type (see HYPOTHETICO-DEDUCTIVE EXPLANATION AND METHOD). Compare also THEORIES OF THE MIDDLE RANGE.
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