Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Whole New Respect!

I've been working hard to piece together the elements of my theory.

Boy! Is it ever hard work!

What is harder about it is that when I go in to the literature now to fill in some data-gaps, I find that people have been writing about what I have discovered through theoretical sampling and constant comparison.

Yes, there has been a great deal of uncertainty on my part as to whether I really have anything new or useful to say, but aside from that--which I have come to accept as a natural part of the process of writing up theory--what I am discovering is a true WOW factor. Not wow for myself, but wow for some of these scholars.

It is HARD to come up with original theory. So, I have brand new respect for these awesome award winning, chaired professor scholars. Their work (just good scholarly research, not necessarily grounded theory) have captured so succinctly and so well the things I have been struggling to put into words the last couple of weeks. Truly, theirs is work worth commending. Now I can begin to really tell the difference between amazing scholars and so-so scholars in my field. What's exciting is that my field is so young that many of these folks are still alive, and I'll get to meet them and hopefully not fumble my words when I open my mouth.

And here is also a new kind of respect I have for classic grounded theory: only by doing grounded theorizing have I been able to come to appreciate truly amazing scholarship. I would not have appreciated just how brilliant and hardworking these folks are had I stuck to the verification of variables in some quantitative way (even though I would have finished my Ph.D. a year ago). In my many years of study, I have been taught to critique theories but never to craft them. As good as I have been with theories, the act of crafting a theory has given me a level understanding about theories that critiquing and applying theories alone could never give.

I believe that developing a grounded theory would be an excellent exercise for an upper undergraduate or beginning masters research methodology class--to give students a chance to grapple with the challenge of theorizing and appreciate the value of a really well-crafted theory.


Heather said...

Wow, that is really great that your work is developing not only your mind, but your heart--you are coming to a deeper appreciation of your peers. The ability to separate the cream is something you can only do with a lot of hard work and close attention, and the real value is the recognition of and gratitude for those who apply themselves as hard as you do.

Keep going!

Lonely Dissertator said...

Peers, Heather? I hardly think so. Maybe in 20 years, I might consider myself a peer to these truly amazing scholars. Thanks for the encouragement, nevertheless!