Sammenlignende overvejelser over kodifikationsmetoden i Grounded Theory og i den biografiske metode

  • Maria Kontos


Comparative considerations about the codification procedures in Grounded Theory and in the biographical method. The interest for biographical research in Europe has grown rapidly in the last years. The richness of dissertations that have been completed with the help of biographical methods stands against relatively few contributions about the methods and their rules though. Moreover there are several varieties of the biographical method. In this paper I would like to discuss the rules and procedures of the particular variety of the biographical method that has emerged in the Federal Republic of Germany in the context of Fritz Schützes work. Biographical researchers are happy to refer to Grounded Theory ( Glaser and Strauss) as the basic context of the biographical method in the social sciences. But whereas the sampling procedures of Grounded Theory can be applied relatively easily to the biographical method, it remains unclear how the codification paradigm of Ground-ed Theory is related to the codification procedures of the biographical method. The focus of the paper is the discus-sion and comparison of the codification procedures of the two methodological approaches, related to the detailed analysis of a case, and aiming at the core of the qualitative research process. In the first part of the paper I will relate the codification procedures of the biographical method, as it has been suggested by F. Schütze in terms of the two steps of “structural description” and “analytical abstraction” to the codification procedures suggested by Grounded Theory. The theoretical foundations of the narrative and biographical aspects of “structural descriptions” will be discussed and similarities to and differences with the codification procedures of Grounded Theory will be presented. In order to make the logic of “structural des-criptions” transparent, this methodological procedure will be illustrated by a concluding concrete example.