Properties and Dimensions

The purpose of this exercise is to explore grounded theory’s components of properties and dimensions. With peers, collect at least ten different fabric samples, swatches, or articles of clothing that are all the same general color (e.g. all green) but vary in texture, saturation, pattern, and other design elements (e.g. one article with green sequins, a swatch of green felt, a calico fabric with green motifs, and so on).

Lay the ten articles on a table and, with a small group, negotiate the arrangement of the items along several continua—for example, from the brightest tint to the darkest shade, from the roughest texture to the smoothest texture, from the most seemingly luxurious to the most seemingly homespun. Also explore the possible categorizations of the ten items—for example, a cluster of six that appear natural and a cluster of four that appear synthetic; or a cluster of three that suggest childhood, five that suggest maturity, and two that suggest elder status. Discuss the decision processes among the group that led to the results, and how the property of green has various dimensions.

Infer and interpret how each green fabric piece might symbolize different human personalities—for example, a dark green velvet as an upper-class socialite, and a light green felt as a warm, nurturing parent. Discuss how their assigned attributes are comparable to the dynamics or range of human qualities, and how the variances play a role in grounded theory’s search for the properties and dimensions of data.