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Introduction to Constructivist Grounded Theory (Online)

October 6, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 11:30 am

This course will take place over three mornings (10/2/23, 10/4/23, and 10/6/23), 2.5 hours per morning, and will be offered via Zoom. Attendance is required as the course will not be recorded.

This course introduces participants to constructivist grounded theory (CGT). Grounded theory (GT) methods consist of flexible guidelines to fit particular research problems, not to apply mechanically. With these guidelines, you expedite and systematize data collection and analysis. GT methods can assist researchers in making their work more analytic, precise, and compelling.

In this course, following an exploration of the history and development of GT, we examine GT basic guidelines and major strategies, including initial line-by-line and focused coding, the use of gerunds, memoing, diagramming, theoretical sampling, and categorising. Throughout the sessions, there is an emphasis on CGT’s epistemological foundation and resultant adaptations to the research process, including regarding the literature review, researcher positionality/ies and reflexivity, and participant involvement.

The course will include a number of hands-on exercises to exemplify, and give participants an opportunity to practice, the strategies being discussed. For the coding exercise, you may bring and use some of your own qualitative data, or if you do not have data yet, some will be supplied. Clear guidelines and support are provided to course participants with regard to all aspects of CGT.

The sessions will utilise CGT readings and resources from Kathy Charmaz, Robert Thornberg, Adele Clarke, and myself, and will draw on the extensive scholarship of Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss. A pack of materials will be shared with participants in advance of the course. This course will be of interest to those doing full CGT studies but also to those who may be interested in learning about and potentially using some of the powerful GT strategies (such as coding) in studies with a different overall methodological approach.

Instructor: Elaine Keane

Dr. Elaine Keane is Associate Professor in Sociology of Education and Research Methods, and Director of Doctoral Studies, in the School of Education at the University of Galway, Ireland. Her research and publications centre on social class in education and teacher diversity, and she has led national and international funded projects in these areas. She is lead editor of the recently published book about diversifying the teaching profession (Routledge, 2023) and Inaugural Chair of the National Initial Teacher Education Diversity Network. Elaine’s research interests also include research methodology, especially constructivist grounded theory, on which she has collaborated and published with Professors Kathy Charmaz and Robert Thornberg and taught workshops in Ireland, the UK, Sweden, and the USA. She is currently leading an edited volume on constructivist grounded theory in educational research (co-editor: Robert Thornberg). Elaine also serves on the Editorial Board of the UK Journal Teaching in Higher Education.

Registration fees:

  • UNC Chapel Hill Students: $0, with a $35 deposit to hold your spot (deposit is refundable upon your attendance for at least 66% of the course)
  • UNC Chapel Hill Faculty/Staff/Postdoc/Resident/Visiting Scholars: $80
  • Non-UNC Chapel Hill University Student/Employee (must have active university email): $105
  • Government/Non-Profit/Corporate: $130

Additional course information:

  • Registration will close at 12:01am 9/29/2023. No late registrations will be accepted.
  • Cancellation/ Refund Policy: A full refund will be given to those who cancel their registration no later than 10 days prior to the course. If you cancel within the 10 days prior to the class, no refund will be given. Please allow 30 days to receive your refund.
  • Zoom link for this course will be sent prior to the course. Registration must be made at least 3 days prior to the course date to receive the Zoom link.

For questions regarding this class, please contact Jill Stevens at


October 6, 2023
9:00 am - 11:30 am
Event Categories:


NC United States