Translating and Doing Grounded Theory Methodology. Intercultural Mediation as an Analytic Resource

Massimiliano Tarozzi


Language is a non-neutral, but powerful research tool. This article focuses on two issues: 1. methodological suggestions ensuing from the translation of the founding text of grounded theory methodology (GTM) in the light of the recent literature regarding the translation studies and 2. philosophical reflections and methodological implications about the use of a different language in doing GTM. Both these issues can be useful for GTM practitioners, in particular for native English speakers, since they can uncover some implications of the use of the language in doing research that are commonly taken for granted and underestimated.

The translation process has to do with the understanding and use of a social research method. In this sense, to translate, under certain regards, is doing research, a rigorous inquiry aimed at understanding a text. The similarities of these two parallel processes are closely reviewed. Moreover doing research in another language is a powerful analytic resource. Coding in another language requires continuous acts of interlinguistic translation so that it grows our own faculty to understanding. Differences are highlighted, by providing examples from research, among coding in English (an isolating language suitable for advanced coding and memoing) and in Italian (an inflectional language, more suitable for early coding and memoing).



grounded theory methodology; theory of translation; translation; qualitative data analysis

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Copyright (c) 2013 Massimiliano Tarozzi

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