1 Read – Chapters, Journal Articles, and Research Blogs: Find top research articles to cite and enrich your reading with your ready-made bibliography of qualitative research from SAGE books, journals, and other credible sources. Use the discussion questions online to practice thinking critically about research.

7.1 Changing your theoretical stance

In this fascinating paper, based on her study of music education, Kathryn Roulston reviews the problems she discovered in her first research report and the importance of theoretical ideas in reshaping her data analysis. Realising the limits of just picking out themes from her interview data, she moved on to analyse how sense-making is an interactional practice.

Roulston, K. (2001). Data analysis and ‘theorizing as ideology.’ Qualitative Research1(3), 279–302.

Q. How can changing your theoretical approach change how you interpret data?

Q. What reasons might lead you to change your theoretical approach?

7.2 Constructionist case studies

How can you seek to build a theory while doing a qualitative case study? In this paper, Pertti Alasuutari answers this question by applying a constructionist model to research in cultural studies:

Alasuutari P. Theorizing in Qualitative Research: A Cultural Studies Perspective. Qualitative Inquiry. 1996;2(4):371-384.

Q. How would a constructionist approach to case studies differ from other theoretical approaches?

7.3 A constructionist model

In this response to a paper by Martyn Hammersley, Jonathan Potter, a leading exponent of discourse analysis (DA), shows how his approach, based on a constructionist model, can generate theory.

Potter J. Discursive Psychology: Between Method and Paradigm. Discourse & Society. 2003;14(6):783-794.

Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a constructionist approach according to Hammersley?

7.4: Method map

For a series of useful diagrams which show the link between models, theories and concepts, see this ‘method map‘.

Q. How would you describe the relationship between models, theories and concepts?

Q. What are the key models, theories and concepts in your research project, and how do they relate to each other?