Assumptions about the world

Posted on: May 6, 2011

It’s been a while since I blogged, but I have decided to take it up again. This one is not about my PhD research, but my thoughts about research itself. Someone whom I’ve grown to admire and respect gave me a copy of her new book on grounded theory (Birks & Mills, 2011).  I cannot put it down, it is akin to reading a novel, which is highly unusual for a research text. It has demystified so much of the unknown for me on this particular research approach. The text is very accessible and written in a storytelling narrative – wonderful, inspiring! So much so that I have decided to answer the first set of questions posed in the text, which must be answered in 6 minutes. I was done in 5min and 45sec. Not bad, but it’s only the beginning – I have to come back to these questions, so I have to “file it carefully for another day”, as the authors suggest. And yes I will come back, already I have some things I wanted to add and refine for clarity.

How do we define our self?

By the way we think and act, which is governed by beliefs, and rooted in our culture, natural or adopted.

What is the nature of reality?

Something that we can make sense of, and gain a level of understanding.

What can be the relationship between researcher and participant?

Giver and receiver. One provides information – the other inquires and tries to make sense of whatever it is not yet known.

How do we know the world, or gain knowledge of it?

By experience, through social mediation.

The book: Birks, M. & Mills, J. (2011). Grounded theory: A practical guide. Sage Publications, London.


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