Debunking myths in CAQDAS use and coding in qualitative data analysis. Experiences with and reflections on grounded theory methodology

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I deliberate firstly the primacy of grounded theory as a methodology and secondly the primacy of grounded theory coding as a method in deciding on CAQDAS use in my research. In the first section of this paper, I weigh the extent to which my research draws and departs from the principles and practices of grounded theory methodology (GTM). In examining the impact of cultures and religions on women's human rights in Malaysia I have used for example hypothesis-guided criteria for sampling. This is strictly speaking not in the original sense a grounded theory approach. In the paper, I make transparent the extent to which GTM has informed my work in enhancing the qualitative research and in highlighting the uses and limits of GTM, I pose the question to what extent have I demystified its paradigmatic status in CAQDAS and its homogenising effects. In the second section, I discuss the dominance of coding in qualitative data analysis and I argue that the pitfall of reifying coding as analyses can be avoided through a researcher's reflexivity and agency (self-determination) combined with a pragmatic view and the use of codes as a means and not as an end, essentially, grounded theory coding. I discuss whether CAQDAS use as a tool facilitates the rigour of GTM and the transparency of grounded theory coding as method as manifested in one's audit trail, and whether this in turn constitute research that is more accountable, innovative and effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-275
Number of pages18
JournalHistorical Social Research/Historische Sozialforschung
Issue numberSUPPL. 19
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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