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Encyclopedia > Theoretical sampling

Theoretical sampling is a term coined by Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss in 1967 in the context of social research to describe the process of choosing new research sites or research cases to compare with one that has already been studied. It is one of the tools of qualitative research. Barney G. Glaser (born 1930), American sociologist and one of the founders of the Grounded theory methodology. ... Anselm L. Strauss (December 18, 1916_September 5, 1996) was a sociologist, who worked the field of medical sociology. ... Year 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the 1967 Gregorian calendar. ... Social research refers to research conducted by social scientists (primarily within sociology and social psychology), but also within other disciplines such as social policy, human geography, political science, social anthropology and education. ... Qualitative research is one of the two major approaches to research methodology in social sciences. ...


The goal of theoretical sampling is not the same as with the probabilistic sampling; the researcher's goal is not the representative capture of all possible variations, but to gain a deeper understanding of analysed cases and facilitate the development of analytic frame and concepts used in their research. Sampling is that part of statistical practice concerned with the selection of individual observations intended to yield some knowledge about a population of concern, especially for the purposes of statistical inference. ... Analytic frame is a detailed sketch or outline of some social phenomenon, representing initial idea of a scientist analyzing this phenomenon. ... For other uses, see Concept (disambiguation). ...


Theoretical sampling can be viewed as a technique of data triangulation: using independent pieces of information to get a better fix on something that is only partially known or understood.


This method is also known as "handy sampling".


See also

Sampling is that part of statistical practice concerned with the selection of individual observations intended to yield some knowledge about a population of concern, especially for the purposes of statistical inference. ... A common misunderstanding about case study research is that one cannot generalize from a case study. ...

References

  • Charles C. Ragin, 'Constructing Social Research: The Unity and Diversity of Method', Pine Forge Press, 1994, ISBN 0-8039-9021-9
  • Josiah S. Carberry, 'The New Science of Handy Sampling', Harvard University Press, 1971, ISBN 0-2123-2911-3
Charles C. Ragin is a Professor of Sociology and Political Science at the University of Arizona. ... Josiah Stinkney Carberry is a fictional professor, created as a joke. ...

 
 

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