Constant Comparison with Jellybeans


What could be more exciting than watching grounded theory elucidated in stop motion animation? Okay, probably a lot of things, like participant observation acted out in claymation, but we haven’t found that video clip yet.

The methodology may not be obvious at first; however, watching the beans as they apparently categorize themselves is just plain fun. The beans shimmy and shake into groups. Each bean is compared to the other beans and then categorized. Categories are readjusted and new categories emerge and the beans immediately rush to the most fitting spot.

This process of analysis is known as the constant comparative method. Categories are created to aid in systematic analysis. Individual incidents are compared and integrated into the existing categories while new categories emerge. This is all an attempt to formulate a theory grounded in the data.

Of course this video does not account for memo writing or theoretical analysis but it does provide an excellent visual to help guide our qualitative research approach. To better understand qualitative thinking, watch a little social science in action. Stop. Action. That. Is.

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